Traveling from Lincoln, Nebraska to Vancouver, British Columbia, daughters graduation


The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

Day 1 - Monday, July 13 - Lincoln, NE to Douglas, WY

0.0 7:03 Leave home.
9.3 7:55 At Kirk Motors - went to Imogene’s to drop off slides, then to leave LP at Enterprise. Horns have gone and I have to wait an hour or so to get them fixed
9.5 9:28 Leave Kirk Motors.
13.6 9:38 Enter I-80 - the cornfields are looking beautiful.
96.2 10:47 Near Grand Island Exit-312 road work in progress, right lane closed and speed reduced to 55 mph.
97.2 10:48 End of road work.
135.5 11:20 Just passed the Exit for Kearney, North Platte is now 96 miles. Whilst the car was at Kirk Motors this morning I got a ride to the bank at “O” & 12th to get some cash. I walked the 6 blocks back to Kirk Motors, then decided to walk to Office Max to get some new note pads ($3.70 cash for 1 doz. pads) then walked 5 blocks back - a total of 16 blocks walked whilst waiting for the car to be fixed.
I’m going to leave the highway at Lexington, Exit-237 because I need to have a short break and need a snack of some kind!
169.8 11:48 Lexington (pop. 8,544) is also where US-283 goes north - $4.23 for a grilled chicken dinner at McDonald’s
171.1 11:58 Back on I-80.
Gothenburg is just a mile or so ahead - doesn’t seem to be as many cornfields now - the grasses are all going to seed, so the countryside doesn’t have the lush green look to it, though it is still pretty nice looking.
204.0 The road just crossed the Gothenburg Canal and as we went around a corner I noticed that there are now sandhills, mostly to the north of the road, but I guess this is the area of Nebraska where the sandhills reach this far south
205.5 Crossing the Platte River North Channel.
217.6 12:37 Sign for Sidney - 130 miles - I guess I would have been there by this time if it hadn’t been for the holdup in Lincoln.
255.4 1:09 The gas warning light has just come on.
257.4 1:10 Time zone change from Central to Mountain Time, so now it is an hour earlier.
After North Platte there are sandhills on the south side of the road as well, so it would appear that I-80 passes through the southern end of the famous Nebraska Sandhills.
279.0 12:28 Leaving I-80 at Ogallala for gas.
279.0 12:30-12:42 GAS - Ogallala, NE - $1.199/gal. - 18.942 gals. - $22.71
279.1 12:44 Crossing the South Platte River as I go into Ogallala.
280.2 12:54 Leaving the Keith County Courthouse.
280.6 12:56 Turning west on US-30. It is very hot, also quite dusty. Sidney now 67 miles! Driving on US-30 is a pleasant change from driving on the freeway.
289.4 1:06 Brule, pop. 411. There are sandhills to the north, but flat fields on either side of US-30 which are used for crops, mostly corn, and to the south of the cornfields are the cottonwood trees along the South Platte River.
Just seen a cute sculpture in the front of a house - a wagon wheel for the front wheel of a penny farthing bike!
294.5 1:13-1:15 Historic Marker for CA Hill. Actually the road climbs into the hills at this point and you can overlook the river valley - appearance of yuccas on the hillsides, also the white primroses (prairie).
298.5 Entering Deuel County.
299.5 Turning onto US-138 off US-30 because the road is closed from July 13, that is today for new bridge construction - am going to have to return to I-80 - Oh well! Those are the breaks sometimes. This road will take me through the town of Big Springs, 2 miles ahead, and I-80 is 3 miles.
300.7 1:23 Entering Big Springs, pop. 495.
301.1 1:24-1:27 Historic Marker in Big Springs - robbery marker and sod house.
301.6 1:28 Crossing South Platte River, made up mostly of sand bars with a little creek running through.
302.3 1:31-1:33 Stopped for another Historic Marker - Big Springs Pony Express marker. Sidney 48 miles as I turn onto the ramp to re-enter I-80.
302.8 1:34 On I-80.
307.0 1:38 The road divides here for the start of I-76 to Denver and I-80 continuing to Cheyenne. Almost immediately the road crosses the South Platte River - the next exit, # 101, is for US-138, so I could have stayed on that out of Big Springs rather than going straight down to the interstate, but there was not a sign to let me know that was what was going to happen!
324.0 1:52 Leaving I-80 to go into Chappell.
324.4 1:53-1:55 Historic Marker - E Bomber Crash. Driving into Chappell joining up with US-385.
324.9 1:57 Entering Chappell, pop. 979.
325.2 2:01 Leaving Deuel County Courthouse. Sidney 29 miles - gate across the entrance to the highway meaning there are times when it could be closed!
326.5 2:04 Rejoining I-80.
333.7 Entering Cheyenne County - irrigation sprinklers on great expanse of beautiful green to the south and beautiful golden color of ripened corn to north. There are miles and miles of golden grain.
Ever since Ogallala the road has been climbing to the high plains.
350.6 2:24 Leaving the interstate at Exit-59 to go to Cabela’s and Sidney. About half a mile back there were two or three police cars, 2 vans and a whole crowd of what looked to be illegal immigrants, I think being handcuffed, and sitting on the embankment at the side of the road!
351.6 2:27-2:58 Stopped at Cabela’s - bought shoes (same as before) on special, and some Bakers Melt Aways for Sarah, which I think she will enjoy. As usual there are cars from all over here at Cabela’s.
Stopped at a traffic light, instead of going south to I-80, I’m going north into Sidney, 4 miles, then beyond that to Bridgeport which is 41 miles. Light has changed!
352.1 3:00 Driving into Sidney. It looks as if I might have to take US-30 west to go into Sidney then come back to US-385 to go north to Bridgeport.
Sign for a “Generic Motel” - I wonder what that is!!
354.6 3:04 Sidney, pop. 5,959.
356.0 3:11-3:18 Cheyenne County Courthouse.
357.7 3:22 Back at where I turned onto US-30 to go into Sidney - now will turn north on US-385.
Huntsman University of Nebraska Agricultural Laboratory # 2 - just passed the sign for that. Also an interesting railway junction - there’s one line running parallel with the road and then there was two lines at right angles with a curved line from the parallel line and trains on both of them
365.9 3:31-3:33 Historic Marker - Marathon Oil Well. Extremely hot wind blowing from the west; lots of ripened crops in the fields, beautiful golden color.
369.6 Gurley, pop. 198. Large grain elevators dominating the little town. Bridgeport now 27 miles. Alliance is only 64 miles from here; gently rolling countryside; fields of sunflowers between two crops, that is field crop on either side; now there is a large field where hay has been cut and there are all the big rolls of hay - very pleasant, very attractive and now to the east a harvester is gathering the crop in and in the middle of the crop is a working oil pump.
Lots of harvesters at work as coming into next little town of Dalton.
375.7 3:43 Dalton, pop. 282. Another oil pump.
377.8 Leaving Cheyenne County and entering Morrill County. As the road enters Morrill County , the road is on quite a high point and although hilly is probably descending from here into the Platte (i.e. North Platte) River Valley.
378.8 3:47 First view in the distance of Courthouse and Jail Rocks.
379.5 The crest of a hill looking down over a very wide river valley. It’s a long run down into the valley. Courthouse and Jail Rocks are out to my left. This road will not be going past them.
It is just like a patchwork quilt - different greens of grass, trees and the rip crops, corn and sunflowers - just a beautiful sight.
389.2 3:57 The junction with NE-92.
390.5 Amanda Lamme Historic Marker - already have a picture of this so wont take another.
396.1 4:04 Entering Bridgeport, pop. 1,581.
397.2 4:08 Morrill County Courthouse.
397.3 4:16 Leave US-385 and am now on US-26 and NE-92.
398.3 Left Bridgeport now and caught my first glimpse of Chimney Rock.
400.8 4:21-4:22 Historic Marker - Camp Clarke Bridge and Sidney/Black Hills Trail. I think Jen and I stopped and took a picture of the sign for Camp Clarke because of the lovely iron work across the top of it.
There are a number of oil pumps in the vicinity.
403.5 Can now see Scotts Bluff as well as Chimney Rock.
404.8 4:29 Schmidt Ranch ½ mile, leaving.
404.9 4:30-4:31 Stopped for a view of Chimney Rock with my telephoto lens.
405.0 4:31 Turned off again on a dirt road probably just for a short distance - maybe I wont have to go back because I’m getting closer to Chimney Rock along this dirt road - lots of Vervain out in flower along here.
406.3 4:34-4:38 Pulled up where I can get a bit of shade while I change my film.
407.4 Picture of Chimney Rock with telephoto from dirt road. It looks like I have to go back to the other road then go out to Chimney Rock again because there doesn’t seem to be any crossroad over here. There is a crossroad coming up!
408.3 I am pleasantly surprised because after a number of comments that I have heard about Chimney Rock falling down, I thought that maybe there wasn’t much of it left, but it is still very much the same as when I last saw it.
There are some huge cottonwood trees along this little stretch of road I am on at the moment.
409.5 A pheasant just ran across the road.
410.9 4:51-4:57 The end of the road.
412.4 5:03 Leaving after picture with regular lens - water in the foreground.
412.9 5:07 Leaving after another picture.
413.5 5:08-5:11 Chimney Rock Historic Marker. Also picture of Chimney Rock with rolls of hay in the foreground.
415.2 Entering Scotts Bluff County. I’m not sure now that what I thought I saw way back was Scotts Bluff, but rather another area of the Wildcat Range.
419.3 I am now passing the formation that I thought was Scotts Bluff and the Bluff itself is still quite some distance in front of me.
423.6 Where US-26 leaves NE-92. Gering now 8 miles. Passing another stationary coal train, the second one in a very short distance - long, long trains loaded full of coal.
Passing another train, but it is still moving forward slowly. Actually there is a double set of lines here so they will all be waiting for one or more empty trains coming the other way. These cars look like brand new ones, bright, shiny and clean.
431.0 5:30 Entering Gering, pop. 7,946 - passing Circle S Motel where I have stayed a couple of times, once with LP and once with Jen.
The temperature here is registering 109°. Wow!
431.7 5:33-5:37 Able to pull up in the shade opposite Scotts Bluff County Courthouse - very impressive building, but surrounded by large trees and it is very difficult to get a picture of it.
I think that I will go to McDonald’s again and get something I can eat as I drive along - stopped at McDonald’s - decided to get a McNugget Meal ($3.37).
5:42 Leaving McDonald’s.
434.8 5:49 Pulling into Scotts Bluff. The temperature here reached 98° today. Just before reaching the entrance gate I had to drive very slowly because the heat had caused the road to buckle. At the moment I am looking down there and road repair trucks have arrived and closed the road (temporarily, I hope) - luckily I was through!
435.1 6:10 Leaving. Having had my supper I’m now heading along NE-92 towards Wyoming. Driving in this direction you can still see the trail ruts of all the wagons which came this way.
Drove past Fort Mitchell Historic Marker. Beautiful lighting on the Wildcat Range. There is a lot of corn as well as other crops growing in the area.
456.1 6:38 Lyman, pop. 452.
457.2 6:39 Nebraska/Wyoming State Line - now traveling on WY-92.
460.1 Junction with WY-158 coming in from the left at right angles - went straight across the top of the T. Junction with WY-161 actually goes straight ahead towards US-85, but I’ll stay to the right and go into Torrington.
470.3 6:53 Approaching a wide, lush valley - it will be the North Platte River.
471.2 6:54 Junction with US-85.
472.3 6:56 Entering Torrington, pop. 5,651, El. 4,104 feet.
472.7 Crossing North Platte River.
473.4 6:58 Junction with US-26. Since leaving Torrington, the road has been all ripped up and there is no pavement at all - all rough and gravelly and I guess they are going to widen it - but there is no road whatsoever other than a gravel road!
I sure wouldn’t want to be living in any of the houses along here - the dust is just terrible! They have set a speed limit at 40 mph but we are doing about 25 mph. I have a big semi in front of me and in front of that a number of cars and right at the front a caravan which is holding up the works!
478.2 7:08 Back onto pavement.
Because of the rough road I forgot to note that at 7:03 it was 12 hours since I left home, so let’s say it is 12 hours now at 478 miles.
The road is four lanes, though only two are being used at present and there are no pavement markings - brand new road.
482.9 7:15 Lingle, pop. 473, El. 4,165 feet.
483.5 7:16 Left Lingle. Now Fort Laramie is 10 miles and Guernsey 23 miles.
Actually it is 13 hours since I left home because of the time change from Central to Mountain.
492.8 7:25 Fort Laramie, pop. 243, El. 4,230 feet.
“Welcome to the Town of Fort Laramie with 250 good people and 6 sore heads.”.
Douglas 77 miles. I’m so tired and feeling frustrated at the moment that I had to waste so much time this morning fixing the car in Lincoln. I don’t know where I’m going to stay. I’m just feeling a bit upset.
I have seen Mount Laramie for many miles.
501.6 On top of a crest of a hill I now have Mount Laramie directly in front of me.
503.2 7:36 Passing the Rest Area where they have all those signs with the little telescopes pointing out the different areas along the cliffs.
Big railway switching yard here at Guernsey and large machine shed I suppose, because there are a couple of dozen locomotives which is probably where they get serviced.
505.4 7:39 Entering Guernsey, pop. 1,155, El. 4,354 feet - temp. 100°.
506.0 Crossing North Platte River which seems to be pretty full - Wheatland 27 miles, Douglas 62 miles.
515.6 Wheatland 17 miles, Douglas 54 miles? I was just going to say there is a range of mountains running north and south in front of me as I go west, Mount Laramie being the highest peak in this particular range.
517.5 7:51 Just passed the sign for Dwyer, El. 4,835 feet.
519.6 Just seen some antelope, the first ones for today. Junction with I-15 ½ mile ahead.
520.2 7:54-7:56 Stopped momentarily to look at map - the Natural Bridge is after Douglas, so I will try to go as far as Douglas tonight.
This is the strange junction which always gets LP because when coming south on I-25 and getting off to go to Guernsey, the Exit-is from the left side of the road rather than from the right!
520.9 7:57 Joined I-25, Glendo 19 miles, Casper 97 miles.
527.8 8:03 14 hours since leaving home. Another antelope.
The sun is getting quite low in the sky and now as the road goes up and down hills and through cuttings I am driving in shadow part of the time and away from the sun and then it is much cooler, or it feels a lot cooler!
540.6 Douglas is now 26 miles, Casper 75 miles. There is no way I can make it to Casper tonight
553.0 Crossing the North Platte River.
553.7 Exit-126 for US-20 to Lusk.
I am approaching Douglas but it is very hard to see anything because the sun is just above the horizon, not hidden by any clouds and shining directly in my eyes.
There have been signs for a Best Western at the second Exit-so I will try there first.
The sun has almost gone and I can open my eyes again (!). I will leave the interstate at Exit-140.
565.8 Crossing North Platte River again. Casper is 45 minutes away according to a sign!
567.1 8:36 Exit-140.
567.8 8:38-8:41 Best Western - No vacancies.
568.0 8:43 Motel Super 8, Douglas, WY - end of day.

The day’s total - 568 miles
Trip Total - 568 miles

Day 2 - Tuesday, July 14 - Douglas to Pinedale, WY

568.0 7:56 Leave Motel Super 8.
559.8 7:59 Back on I-25 north to Casper. Beautiful morning - didn’t really see anything of Douglas, but the area looked to be very pleasant and though there is some farming I am certainly in the land of sagebrush.
577.0 A large herd of antelope, probably mostly females because there are a lot of “babies” in the herd.
More antelope ½ mile further along.
579.3 8:08 Exit-151 - leaving I-25 to go to Ayres Natural Bridge. Most of the exits along the route are for roads rather than for towns - just a road name. It is 5 miles to the Natural Bridge.
583.8 8:15 Arrived at the gate to Ayres Natural Bridge Park, but it is still locked. It is supposed to be open April to October, 8 am to 8 pm, but there is a sign up for weed spraying, so maybe it wont be open today.
8:28 Gate still not open so I have decided I really can’t afford the time to waste when there are so many other things to see and do today.
584.8 8:30-8:32 Stopped for a picture of some red rock.
588.1 8:38-8:40 Stopped at a sign about Ayres Rock.
588.4 8:41 Back on I-25.
600.3 Quite a lot of gas pumps in the area - also a lot of road construction. Currently the road is two-way traffic on the west side - east side is closed - speed limit is 60 mph, but the truck in front of me is doing about 27 mph. The two-way traffic lasted for about 8 miles.
603.6 8:56 Just switching back onto our own side.
608.3 Big Midway Oilfield Historic Sign in parking bay - did not stop. Sure is a lot of wide open spaces.
Coming down a hill at this point oil pumps scattered right throughout this particular valley - just as road enters Natrona County.
617.3 Coming over the crest of a hill, pleasant view overlooking a river as I approach Casper. Off to the west there are odd rock formations.
620.3 9:11 Casper next 5 exits - lots of motels here - the town looks very spread out - follows, maybe, the valley of the North Platte River.
624.5 9:15 Exit-188A - left I-25 to go into downtown Casper.
624.7 9:16-9:33 Visitor Center.
9:35 Leaving again after stopping for a picture of “Man and Energy”.
625.1 9:38-9:46 Stopped downtown to go to the Post Office. There are some lovely sculptures around town.
625.7 9:49 Crossing North Platte River.
627.0 9:51 Entering Mills, pop. 1,574, El. 5,123 feet.
628.0 9:54-10:02 GAS - Mills (Casper), WY - $1.069/gal. - 14.965 gals. - $16.00
628.5 10:03 Turning onto Poison Spider Road.
The girls at the Visitor Center in Casper were useless but there was a very nice lady who was most helpful, came over, got busy and helped me - her husband grew up in Lincoln.
It is a bit confusing from the map, but there was a sherif sitting in his car so I stopped and spoke to him - had to turn around a bit and get onto a different road, but he was really quite helpful.
632.6 10:17 Junction with Zero Road as I’m coming off Robertson Road. Natrona Co. Rd. 202 - Poison Spider Road was Natrona Co. Rd. 201. I’m not really sure why the sherif sent me over to Zero Rd. because it is running parallel with the road I was on except a mile further over!
Dry pond areas look rather salty - also dry creek beds.
639.8 Distant view of area to which I’m heading.
640.9 Natrona 306 junction, also Natrona 201 probably comes in there, but I’m not sure - looks like that’s it!
642.7 10:33 Turning onto Natrona 319 - it is a dirt road, but now I’m where I wanted to be!
643.0 10:40 Leaving Oregon Trail Pet Cemetery. Obviously this is the road less traveled, but I kind of like doing that sort of thing - getting out into the wilds of Wyoming.
644.9 10:46 Leaving - 2 bird pictures (bird in nest) - a big bull just walked across the road in front of me - there are cattle on both sides of the road, so I’m either driving through private property or it is open range.
647.8 10:52-10:57 Iron Creek Oil Field. Stopped to change film and took 1 picture.
649.5 11:01 What a view! - 2 pictures.
649.6 Another picture.
Since turning onto 319 there have been no houses, homesteads, nothing. However, there is a telephone line paralleling the road, either that or an electricity line.
Some wildlife - a couple of antelope going up the hill - I was just going to say there was lots of sagebrush but no antelope! - almost looks like a mother and her baby. There is absolutely no indication to let me know if I am on the right road or not!
This road was supposedly right along the Oregon Trail and I can’t even tell whether I’m in the right place.
658.0 Just passing a corrugated iron shack in the shade of a tree, probably a cottonwood.
Climbing up a big hill now to go over the range.
659.6 11:25 Turning off for Ryan Prospect Hill Interpretive Site - I’m on the right road! Just before turning off I took a distant picture again.
659.8 11:26 Oregon Trail Interpretive Site - at least I know that I’m on the right road now. I just wish it was signed better - certainly very interesting and I’m glad I came this way after all, even if there are no other people around.
660.0 11:42 Back at the “main” road. I do believe that I can see some buildings ahead of me! (By 680 I should be at Independence Rock!)
661.6 The road crosses a dam - there is a beautiful small lake behind it and there are ducks on the water.
I also omitted earlier saying anything about the wild flowers - there are quite a number around, different ones and I’m not sure what they all are, mostly blues and yellows and did see some pink ones at one point - actually some are lupines.
Just crossing another dam - actually the road has been built up across a small valley and thus any creek or water coming through is dammed back - over beyond the road there is another beautiful water hole, a little larger with sort of rocky banks to it.
664.3 There are more cattle on the road and now there looks like a small settlement or homestead.
Ah! The cattle are right in the middle of the road - lots of calves with their mothers, some quite small as if they are only a day or two old.
669.8 A car just caught up to me and went past! And I thought that I was all alone!
670.2 Picture looking towards Sweetwater Mountains. I can see several other vehicles traveling now and not on the road I am on, so maybe I’m nearing the junction with WY-220 - some more antelope.
672.1 Stopped to take pictures of antelope - needed to change my lens, then had trouble attaching it - took me a few minutes to fix - antelope gone in the meantime!
12:14 Leave!
672.3 12:15 End of Natrona Co. Rd. 319 - just passed through entrance to the Murphy Ranch at the STOP sign for WY-220 - now on paved road.
672.3 Crossed Horse Creek mentioned in historic signs I took pictures of - back with the traffic again.
I guess that I really enjoyed the other road very much - right in among the hills now - they are kind of rocky, large rocks with rounded tops.
679.1 Couple of pictures, one of rounded rock which is probably Independence Rock and then across the way to Devil’s gate.
681.9 12:29-1:16 Arrived at Independence Rock - I walked around a short distance to see names carved on rock - hard to see now as lichens have grown over them - they are over 150 years old. Some more recent “inscriptions” have desecrated the older ones and show up better - all are behind a fenced area so no one can touch them any more. It was too hot for me to attempt to climb the rock, although there were some hardy souls who did so!
682.2 Crossing the Sweetwater River - Muddy Gap Junction is 19 miles, Lander 100 miles. I ate a bun with a slice of meat and tomato just before leaving from Independence Rock Rest Area.
687.7 1:24 Turning off for Devil’s Gate Historic Site.
687.9 1:25-1:44 Stopped - will have to do a bit of hiking here. There are a lot of interpretive signs along a circular hike - I did a part of it then came back the same way I went. It’s very hot and I need to be careful not to get too over tired in this heat.
Turned off the main road again to go into Martin’s Cove and Sun Ranch - very nice picnic area here.
689.8 1:50-2:19 It was too far for me to get to Devil’s Gate - I walked about a ¼ mile there as far as Vail Bridge crossing of the Sweetwater River, but it was over ½ mile from there, and then back again! Before going to the bridge I did a quick tour of Sun Ranch house - senior Mormons on mission.
Even though the Mormons have bought this property or some of it this is still a working ranch within the Sun family (French from Canada) - Soleil family - changed name to Sun.
690.0 2:25 Leaving, after more pictures looking through Devil’s gate and changing a film also.
691.5 2:29 Rejoining the main road from “Exit-only” route.
693.1 2:31 Passing entrance to Devil’s gate interpretive center.
Stopped for road work at entrance to Sun Ranch.
693.8 2:32 Antelope and a lot of cattle to the south of the road.
700.7 2:42-2:43 Stopped to try to get picture of Split Rock. More lakes - another antelope - I’m coming to the end of WY-220 and will be joining up with US-287 at Muddy Gap Junction.
Even though I want to take US-287 north towards Lander, I am going towards Rawlins first, then turn around after crossing the Continental Divide.
705.8 2:50 Junction - it is just 10 miles to Lamont - that’s as far as I will go if necessary. There is certainly a lot of red in the hills at this point - all kinds of weird rock formations, particularly on the top of the hills.
I just crossed the Continental Divide while listening to my tape, so couldn’t record where it is, but I’m turning around shortly to go north on US-287.
716.8 3:03 Turned around - I’m 83 miles from Casper.
718.0 3:04 Continental Divide, El. 6,720 feet.
718.2 3:05 Stopped for picture of mountains.
726.4 3:17-3:27 Stopped for mountain pictures, right where a gate can close the road in bad weather - took about 5 pictures. Actually quite a busy road.
727.1 Sign: Casper 72 miles, Lander 82 miles, Gillette 205 miles - I’ll be taking the road towards Lander.
727.7 3:29 Back at the junction - Muddy Gap. Antelope against the horizon - too far away for pictures.
731.2 Picture of herd of antelope on hill against the sky. Lots and lots of antelope through here; cowboy out riding his horse.
Am quite close to Split Rock now, but from here it doesn’t look anything like it did in the distance from back at Devil’s gate.
734.2 Just driven back into Natrona county.
735.7 3:44 Turning off for Split Rock. This involves more walking, so I think I will just take a couple of pictures here at the parking lot and take off.
4:03 Leaving - have been clambering around on the rocks - quite a fun place and could spend a lot of time here trying to make pictures.
735.7 4:04 Back at the road (US-287) which is following alongside the Sweetwater River.
739.2 4:08-4:10 Split Rock Historic Marker.
An amazingly long stretch of straight road in a valley between two mountain ranges. Just noticed a prairie dog town.
749.3 At the end of the long straight stretch and I can see mountains ahead which have snow on them
750.2 4:21 Jeffrey City.
Just saw an antelope alongside the road outside the fence and one inside as well. I didn’t stop to try for a picture because they really are very skittish - I probably wouldn’t succeed and I’d like to get a few miles under my belt because it is getting late in the afternoon!
Two cyclists with saddle bags are riding in the opposite direction - they have quite a ride in front of them to get to any civilization.
I am wondering if the mountains ahead are the Wind River Range.
759.9 4:30-4:33 Ice Slough.
761.0 121 miles to Dubois where Mary and I stayed in 1995.
768.8 4:42 Crossing Sweetwater River.
769.2 4:42 Turned off to go into Rest Area (near junction with WY-135 to Riverton) - I want to check out the map a bit more to decide which way I’ll go. Rest Area called the Sweetwater Station Rest Area. I think I’ll stick to my original plan.
769.5 4:50 Back on the highway. I’ve done 200 miles since I left this morning and in another 6 minutes it will be 9 hours since I left! The range of mountains is the Wind River Range.
Steep grade for the next 6 miles - 6%. Took a picture at the top looking towards the mountains. It is just a gorgeous area.
781.5 Crossing Beaver Creek, at which point the road comes to the end of the down grade before starting uphill again out of the valley.
785.2 2 pictures of sun’s rays against the sky using polarizing filter.
Miles and miles of sagebrush covered hills, the road winding in and out, up and down, the mountains in the distance.
The wind between the hills is very strong and one needs to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel because you can feel the way the wind is pulling at the car.
792.1 Junipers are starting to appear on the sides of the hills. Also coming into an area where the soil or rock is quite red. The color in the hillsides is just gorgeous.
798.2 Just crossed the Little Popo Agie (pronounced poposure) River. This joins into the Popo Agie River in Hudson, north east of Lander. Mary and I visited the Sinks Canyon State Park on the Popo Agie River in 1995.
Just noticed a huge canyon with steep cliffs off to the side - coming to the junction with WY-28
799.3 5:23 I’m turning onto WY-28 to Rock Springs. Rock Springs 109 miles, Farson 69 miles.
800.3 Crossing Little Popo Agie River again - really flowing quite quickly; an antelope just ran across the road.
803.4 Changed films (just a couple of hundred feet from where the antelope ran across the road. It is such a gorgeous day (except for heat earlier!) With all the green on the hills, the red rocks/soil, the deep blue sky, white fluffy clouds, yellow clover - magnificent.
807.3 5:36 Picture of red cliffs - actually a cutting where cliff cut away for road winding way up the hillside - my ears have just popped.
808.7 5:38-5:44 Scenic Lookout overlooking Red Canyon (same spot Mary and I stopped at).
813.0 It’s a very long climb and even with the cruise control set the car has dropped back to almost 40 mph. At that particular point I noticed some red blooms amongst the clover.
I’ve decide to disengage the cruise control and have the car in 2nd gear now - sure is quite a climb and has been ever since crossing the Popo Agie River.
814.3 At the top! Another climb - ears popping!
817.8 5:54 Passing the turnoff to historic Atlantic City. Mary and I did not come along this section of road because we went into South Pass City and Atlantic City from the other end. This road takes you pass the Atlantic City Mine where iron ore is being mined.
Still a lot of red flowers along the roadside - hope there’s still some when I reach the interpretive center for South Pass.
822.2 Another turnoff for Atlantic City, but maybe also South Pass City, so could be where Mary and I turned in! - I don’t know. No! This is it now.
823.3 Picture of Historic Marker - South Pass and South Pass City.
832.6 6:13 Crossing the Sweetwater River.
834.1 6:14 Continental Divide, El. 7,550 feet. Another antelope grazing on the side of the road - I really need to be careful of them running across the road.
837.8 6:18 Turning into South Pass Overlook. Very few flowers as compared with the last time, but I think the hills are greener.
838.0 6:22 Back on highway - ½ dozen antelope - the road is stretching ahead for miles, just rising up and down with the rolling prairie - more antelope.
843.2 Passing the Immigrant Trail Cutoff marker - not stopping.
846.8 6:31 Still have 20 miles to Farson - “LP, you’d just love this drive, today!”.
856.5 More antelope.
859.3 6:42 Came over a rise and there is actually some civilization ahead of me, even irrigation sprinklers! - a few houses, some cottonwood trees. I guess that I am approaching Farson - irrigation ditches and channels - obviously no shortage of water around here. Maybe Farson is just a few scattered houses - I didn’t remember. It is certainly not going to be big enough to sustain a McDonald’s!
865.8 6:48 Entering Farson, pop. 325, El. 6,580 feet. Junction with US-191. I was going to buy an ice cream cone but the lineup was so long it is unbelievable - looks as if everyone in town is out for a Sunday afternoon! So, I’m having the last slice of meat on the last bun! I think it is now just 60 miles to Pinedale so I should be able to get there by 8 o’clock!
866.7 Crossing Big Spring River and Pinedale is 59 miles, Jackson 136. Wyoming is one of the places where one realizes the vastness of this earth of ours. When you live in the city there are so many people all crammed together in such a small area and you come out to these wide open spaces and you can travel for miles and miles and never see sight nor sign of anyone - it is a truly wonderful experience.
Every now and again you get a glimpse of a river which is meandering along at the side of the road - I should say off to the side of the road.
885.5 174 miles to Yellowstone, 40 to Pinedale.
Now there is a sign for road work for the next 28 miles. Yuk!! Starts out with completely new pavement but not going to last for long because road down to one lane ahead and a flag man.
888.1 7:16 Stopped. Obviously have to wait for someone to come the opposite way. I hope it’s not a 28 mile stop!! - ½ hour! Yuk!!
I can see the cars coming in the distance, a long line of them and it’s going to be quite a while before they get here,
7:18 I asked the flag man “How long?’ and he said about 5 minutes. The pilot led procession has arrived and the pilot has turned around ready to lead “us”.
7:21 On our way, so that wasn’t long! There’s been an accident if you please right here in the midst of the construction!
891.2 7:26 End of pilot leading - now on our own to go ahead. The road has had all the surface grooved ready for new pavement to be put down. Great view of mountains all along - going on the west side of mountains (Wind River Range) that Mary and I went on the east side of I think. Some pretty high peaks - 12,000-13,000 feet.
897.5 7:33 Back onto ordinary road and no grooving.
There’s another range of mountains over to the west, but much further away than the one to the east.
907.4 7:41 Over the top of a hill and looking down into a broad, fertile valley - just wonderful views when you come over the top of these hills.
909.6 Just crossed a river but don’t know what it was - unnamed on map but flows into New Fork and Green River,
912.8 7:46 Entering Boulder, pop. 79, El. 7,016 feet - Pinedale now 12 miles.
Crossing New Fork River just outside of Boulder.
914.1 End of road work.
915.8 Cross river again, also passed an Historic Marker about osprey - not stopping.
Passing an airport - must be for Pinedale.
923.7 7:55 Entering Pinedale, pop. 1,181, El. 7,175 feet.
924.0 7:56 Now, exactly 12 hours since I left the motel this morning.
925.0 7:58 9 something + tax - way more than I want to spend!!!!!!!
926.0 Have my room at the Pine Creek Inn, Pinedale, WY.
Wrangler Café for supper - Soup & Salad ($5.16).
927.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 359 miles
Trip Total - 927 miles

Day 3 - Wednesday, July 15 - Pinedale, WY to Lolo, MT

927.0 7:58 Leave Pine Creek Inn. I had breakfast in my room and, after I had organized my things, walked over to the park for pictures of Historic Marker, Pine Creek and the main street. Another gorgeous morning. Talking to the lady who owns the motel and who grows hydroponic tomatoes, she told me the last frost was June 26. They usually only get 60 frost-free days and this year is going to be less.
The main street has dips in it all the way along, probably for flash flooding of the creek when the snows melt.
927.7 8:00 Traveling on US-191, Jackson is 77 miles. Am passing some lovely homes, a number of them being built of logs.
Along the road there are markers (happened yesterday as well) to indicate points off the road which would be historic places on the Oregon Trail, places which would have been noted in people’s diaries, things that had happened to them.
Everything is very green and very lush through the valley. I now have mountains on the other side as well as behind me, snow rimming their peaks - just gorgeous - flat land of the valley is farmed, ranching, cattle, hay and yet on the hills surrounding the flat valley there is sagebrush growing and then behind that are the mountains - whole ray of “things”. The road is actually skirting along the base of the sagebrush covered hills which are more or less to my right side and the valley to my left. It looks like the range from the right is going to meet the range on the left, but I know that isn’t true - the valley continues.
938.1 Junction with US-189.
942.8 There’s a large herd of antelope with many young ones among them - just beautiful to see in this lush area.
946.9 8:18 Just crossed the Green River which flows from the Green River Lakes, high up in the wind River Range near the highest peak, Gannett Peak, El. 13,804 feet - a scenic road, the last part unpaved, follows the Green River to the lakes - the same Green River which joins the Colorado River in Utah.
The road is leaving the valley and going up into the foothills - some animals, maybe ground squirrels, scamper across the road - have seen 3 or 4 of them now.
954.6 Just passed an Historic Marker about Astorian Campsite. This morning I am not stopping for the various markers as I would like to get further along the way before I start dilly-dallying.
I have been tempted to take pictures of the beautiful scenery, as well as the many wildflowers blooming.
Came around a sharp bend at the top of a hill and there is a steep descent and the vista was beautiful - magnificent.
8:28 Jackson is now 46 miles.
962.0 8:33-8:36 Given up the temptation about stopping - 2 pictures.
965.3 Crossed Hoback River - a lot of the blue flowers are lupine.
969.5 8:42 Entering Bondurant, pop. 100, El. 6,588 feet.
971.5 Crossing the Hoback River again.
973.0 The road is going into a valley between mountains - am stopping for Historic Marker about Hoback Canyon. The road is following the valley of the Hoback River.
973.5 8:48-8:51 2 or 3 pictures starting with Historic Marker. Upon leaving sign says open range - will have to watch out for stock!
As the road enters the canyon it crosses the Hoback river again - wouldn’t be surprised if road crosses it several times as go up canyon. The water is to the top of the banks of the river and is flowing swiftly.
The red in the rocks adds to the magnificence of the scenery, because everything is so green ... then red rocks and white snow, red soil and bare red rocks showing through.
977.4 Just crossed the river two more times and the canyon is becoming quite narrow ... over the river again ... there are rocky fins sticking out of the mountain sides.
I think I have already seen more traffic this morning than I saw all day yesterday.
979.7 8:58-9:01 Stopped again - decided not to take a picture. Teton Park is 29 miles and Yellowstone 82 miles from this point ... crossing river again ... and again ... and again ... and again ...
984.0 9:06 At this point I think the road has come out of the main part of the canyon.
984.5 The hillsides are yellow with the flowers that are blooming - yellow clover which is very thick.
Am caught up in a long stream of traffic headed by a motor home, the usual holdup when you get into these kinds of areas ... no point in trying to pass because down the road further there is another motor home!
988.5 9:12 Historic Marker - John Hoback, Guide of Astorians.
Entering Hoback Junction ... now I need to check as to which way I want to go ... not too sure at the moment ... guess I’ll stay with US-191 to Jackson ... have been through Hoback Junction before, once with Alice in 1992 from Salt Lake City and once with LP from Evanston.
989.3 9:14 Hoback Junction ... Jackson now 13 miles ... still on US-191, but have joined a number of other highways as well: US-89, US-26,; US-191 is also US-189.
990.9 9:16 Crossing the Snake River.
994.1 Snake River again.
It is a gorgeous morning ... the road at the moment is slightly above the flat valley, lush green and lots of cattle grazing.
997.0 9:24-9:33 GAS - Jackson, WY - $1.279/gal. - 16.478 gals.- $21.08
Some Dames Rocket in flower by the looks of it ... the construction here is for widening this particular stretch of road.
Entering Jackson 1,000.0 miles after leaving home!
1,000.0 9:38 Jackson, pop. 4,708, El. 6,209 feet ... I will not spend any time in Jackson so am looking for the turnoff for WY-22 ... junction ½ mile.
1,000.9 9:40 (start of second thousand miles!!) ... turned onto WY-22 ... lots of traffic ahead ... very heavy and quite a shock to the system!
Idaho Falls is only 89 miles from here.
1,003.3 Afield with lots of horses ... and there’s a couple of nesting swans on a little patch of water.
1,004.5 Crossing the Snake River.
The road will start soon climbing up the mountain to Teton Pass.
1,005.4 Am crossing a valley at the moment, but I can see the cutting on the side of the mountain where the road ascends on the other side of the valley ... lots of daisies in flower in the field in the valley.
1,005.8 9:46 Steep mountain pass ahead ... 10% grades.
1,006.0 9:46 Entering Wilson, pop. 200, El. 6,160 feet ... 12 miles to the Wyoming/Idaho State Line.
1,006.7 Start of climb and lo and behold I have a great big truck in front of me which is going to be devastating for this climb!! ... he has turned off! ... Thank goodness!
1,008.5 9:51-9:53 Stopped ... the scenery is unbelievable ... there are just so many different wild flowers at the side of the road ... beautiful colors ... yellow, mauve, pinks, blues, reds.
1,011.0 9:59-10:14 Stopped at a pullout looking down over the valley ... flower pictures ... changed the film ... more flower pictures, then one of the valley ... a DOT truck just pulled up behind me, asked if I was planning on being here long because they are trying to clear the area ready for setting off a charge ... I guess they are also widening this road!
Flowers: Indian Paint Brush, Gentians, and others.
They have already stopped the traffic going the other way ... I just got out in time, otherwise would not have been able to get those particular pictures.
1,012.0 10:16-10:24 Have reached the summit, i.e. Teton Pass, El. 8,429 feet (1st pass for the day) ... flax, lupines gentian, geranium, Virginia Bells, forgetmenots, goats beard, daisies ... Nature’s garden is ablaze with color.
Steep grade ... 10% ... for next 2 miles ... a lady riding a bike is going to have a long haul to get to the top of Teton Pass!!
1,017.2 Another cyclist ... makes me wish I still had my bike and could ride! He already looks rather tired.
1,018.3 10:34 “CELEBRATE IDAHO WITH US” ... State Line ... Idaho Falls now 70 miles. Actually there are quite a number of cyclists heading towards Teton Pass. There is also a truck unloading bikes here and it looks as if people can rent them to go for a bicycle ride.
1,021.0 Coming into another wide valley ... maybe not quite as big as Jackson Hole, but the same type of topography ... also the mountains are not quite as high.
As I drive closer to Victor it seems as if there is a very long wide valley because it extends much further than at first appearances.
1,023.2 10:40 Welcome to Victor, pop. 292, elevation not given ... such a wide main street you almost need binoculars to see from one side to the other!
1,023.6 10:41 Turning off ID-31 to Swan Valley and Idaho Falls ... this highway is known as the Teton Scenic Byway.
1,024.1 Swan Valley 20 miles, Idaho Falls 62 miles.
Looking up the valley, which is very wide, there doesn’t appear to be any mountains ahead... of course I know there are but they must be in the distance.
1,027.2 The road is starting to rise out of the valley at this point.
1,030.3 10:49 Pine Creek Pass, El. 6,720 feet (2nd pass of the day) ... from here the road descends with a 6% grade
10:58 Leaving, having stopped to look at some flowers ... more varieties of flowers including lupines and buttercups ... took 2 pictures of the red ones I’ve been seeing ... this is just as entering Bonneville County.
10:59 Just joining in and tagging along behind a long stream of traffic ... still enjoying the scenery, but I wish there wasn’t as much traffic ... that’s one of the breaks when you get into these gorgeous areas ... I still want to have the road to myself with no one else around and be able to enjoy the solitude, the beauty, the magnificence and grandeur from the minute delicate flowers such as the forgetmenots to the lofty rugged mountain tops.
I have just thought of something interesting about myself ... I am impatient with the motor homes and caravans because they hold up traffic so much, but then when they are not on the road I’m the one that holds up the traffic because I like to go faster than the motor homes but not as fast as most people!
1,034.0 Swan Valley 11 miles, Idaho Falls 52 miles.
1,039.2 11:12 Crossing a high bridge over Pine Creek which is flowing through a canyon below the bridge,
1,039.9 A field with some horses, also a lot of llamas.
After the winding road down, now out in another wide valley which is totally cultivated ... crops, rolled hay, cut hay ... another magnificent valley ... just a beautiful area ... junction with US-26.
1,044.1 11:18 Entering Swan Valley, pop. 141. ID-31 ends here.
1,044.3 11:18 Turned onto US-26 ... this is the highway I think I will be on all the way into Idaho Falls ... Idaho Falls 42 miles, Ririe 29 miles, Rigby 37 miles ... the road is running parallel with a river (Snake River, I think). The structure of the rock in the hills is now changed ... looks more like volcanic rocks similar to what you see in Washington.
1,047.3 Oh! The river is the Snake River which I am now crossing ... no wonder it is such a big river.
Eons ago there must have been terrific volcanic action ... lava flows all through the northwest.
A whole hillside is brilliant yellow, different from clover yellow ... maybe a rape seed crop,
1,061.3 Just recognized that the farming through this area is all the way from the valley to the top of the hills, either crops or planted grass for hay.
1,061.8 Came around a corner and I am looking over into another valley, and through thick haze the outline of another mountain range.
1,062.8 11:37 Turning off for a scenic overlook.
1,063.1 11:44-11:58 Stopped at the lower level ... interestingly well kept Rest Area ... clean rest rooms ... lovely picnic tables ... cut grass surrounding the whole area ... stone building overlooking South Fork Snake River ... should have been in Idaho Falls by now if I hadn’t stopped here! Took a number of pictures including some flowers.
1,063.3 12:00 Back on the highway.
1,067.9 Underground sheds remind me of New Brunswick ... am wondering if potatoes are grown anywhere in this area ... Yes! I am passing potato fields, potatoes right to the road’s edge ... acres and acres of them and more sheds with their roofs only above the ground ... cool storage for potatoes.
Farming, including a variety of crops ... wheat, oats and rye ... as far as the eye can see ... and am just passing more potatoes again.
The roofs of the potato sheds are covered with soil and there is grass growing on top ... this would give added insulation for keeping sheds cool.
Don’t actually go into Ririe, which is to the east of the road, probably northeast. There are a lot more farms and many more houses along this road ... I guess that to make a good living up here one doesn’t need the acreage needed on the ranches in Wyoming where you can drive for long distances and never see a single house.
1,075.3 Low flying plane spraying the crop.
I seem to do a lot of driving with the sun coming in on the driver’s side and I’m getting the full pelt of the sun on my left arm.
There’s a peak, or hill or mountain off to my right and forward with a dent in it as if it is a volcano peak!
1,082.8 12:19 Idaho Falls 3 miles ... on the outskirts now and, of course, there are a lot more businesses and populated area has really filled in.
1,084.4 12:20 Stopped for a traffic light.
1,084.8 12:22 Entering Idaho Falls, pop. 33,929.
1,086.1 Cattle yards in the center of town ... seems like a bigger city than Lincoln, but of course isn’t.
1,087.1 12:28 Turned onto Business US-20 ... never did see any sign of the Information Center or the Chamber of Commerce!
1,087.4 12:30 Crossing the Snake River.
1,087.5 12:30-12:43 Stopped by the falls ... all through here the rock is volcanic.
1,088.7 12:46-1:06 Albertson’s ... food supplies ($4.15) ... not such a good idea - was in the Express Lane all that time!
Arco 65 miles.
1,089.9 I’m out in the country again ... still fairly thickly populated.
1,093.9 Speed just increased to 65 mph ... there are not many houses now.
Lots of rocky, volcanic outcropping, sagebrush, thistle, lava rock ... have pretty well left the crops behind.
The road is getting closer to the cone I spoke of earlier so is probably a cinder cone of some kind. I am traveling on US-20.
1,099.2 A large grain crop to the right side of the road ... must have been a lot of work clearing away all the rocky outcrops and getting the land ready for production ... it now looks lush and very productive.
1,100.9 Now there are fields and fields of potatoes ... can’t be any shortage of water because there are sprinklers for irrigation ... working right now both sides of the road ... it is rolling countryside but distant views in a number of directions you can see mountain tops.
What I thought was a cone may be just a lonely hill on the prairie! I can see a zigzag road which goes to the top ... there are two peaks which gave the impression of a cone!
1,106.4 There’s a field of potatoes to my left, but where it ends you can see lava beds ... I’m going to travel as far as Arco, then will turn onto US-93. If I stayed on US-20 beyond Arco I would pass Craters Of The Moon National Park where I went with Jen.
1,108.1 1:27 Pulled off the highway for lava beds ... couple of pictures ... didn’t get out of car.
1,108.4 1:31-1:49 Stopped at a picnic table area ... Hell’s Half Acre ... went for a short hike amidst the lava, but decide it was dangerous to go clambering over it alone with no one around ... changed films.
1,108.7 1:50 Back on the main road.
I’m getting closer to the “cone” and there appears to be a lot of communication towers on top of it, hence road up ... lots of other towers also in the area and this is obviously a high point on the landscape.
Coming over a rise the road is going down a little bit into another valley with mountains as a backdrop ... there also appears to be a telescope over to my right.
1,118.5 2:00 A sign at the side of the road says:

Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory
Engineering tomorrow’s solutions today
US Department of Energy

1,119.0 Is a turnoff for ARGONNE - that’s towards where the telescope was.
Arco 35 miles.
There doesn’t appear to be a road turning into the “hill” with the communication towers. There are mountains to the north.
1,122.3 2:03-2:09 Pulled off for geological site ... 2 signs 3 Buttes from L to R ... the afternoon is very hot here on the lava plains and I am looking at the mountains with snow on them and am thinking that maybe within another hour I will be in the mountains!
1,131.1 2:19 Junction with US-26 ... Arco straight ahead 23 miles.
1,136.5 2:25 Turned off the highway to go to the world’s first nuclear power station.
1,138.4 2:28-2:44 EBR-1 ... guided tour takes about 40 minutes and since it is probably very technical, something LP would enjoy more, I’m just going to have a quick look around ... the last pictures I took were of the “Heat Transfer Experimental Reactors”.
This particular nuclear plant is a National Historic Site.
Arco 32 km (19.9 miles)!!
1,140.3 2:47 Back on US-20 and US-26.
1,141.8 2:49-2:55 Crossed The Big Lost River and pulled into Rest Area .. Historic Site.
Interesting weather tower and weather chart ... pictures of both ... also interpretive signs - nuclear reactors and Lost River.
2:58 Leaving again ... 2 more signs - pictures of each.
1,152.9 3:10 A lovely green valley ahead and Arco is situated somewhere in this valley ... lots of irrigation sprinklers are watering the crops in the fields.
1,156.5 3:13 Entering Butte City, pop. 59.
1,157.5 3:14 Entering Arco, pop. 1,016.
1,158.1 3:15 Junction with US-93 and now going north on US-93 - Moore 7 miles, Darlington 14 miles, and Salmon 137 miles.
1,164.4 Crossing Big Lost River.
1,165.3 Entering Moore, pop. 190.
The road is following a valley, farms all along the way ... irrigation pipes ... potato storage sheds ... silos.
1,171.4 3:29 Entering Darlington, pop. not given - not enough people living here to bother!!! - just a few scattered houses mainly on farms.
1,173.8 Crossing Big Lost River again. I am much closer to the mountains now, but they are pretty bare looking, mostly rocks, a few odd patches of snow on peaks or upper slopes.
The wide valley between the mountains is farmed so there are not a lot of trees. I had hoped to get into the mountains and among trees to escape the heat of the sun, but it doesn’t look as if I am going to have that happen. As seems to be the case with all the valleys this is another beautiful fertile valley.
1,183.3 3:40 Entering Mackay, pop. 547.
1,184.4 252 miles to Missoula.
1,187.9 Start of the Mackay Reservoir. Actually it was the dam that I passed at that particular mileage and now the road is following along beside the Mackay Reservoir.
1,197.1 3:55-4:02 Stopped for Leatherman Peak, El. 12,230 feet - picture of sign and peak and pictures of some lovely tall pink flowers (not sure what - a little bit like penstemon).
The mountains are very rocky above the tree line ... there are some trees, not thickly wooded, then drop away to sagebrush covered foothills and then a marshy valley through which the Lost River flows. It is not all marshy because there are farms as well ... can see quite a lot of cattle now.
1,203.9 I can see the cuts that have been made across the mountain where a (the) road must climb the mountain ... near Mt. Borah Trailhead,
The mountains are beautiful with a lot of color in them and I know I’d like to photograph them, but they are just going to look like mountains, any other mountain (!) Unless a specific mountain with a specific name such as Leatherman Peak, the second highest peak in Idaho ... anyway I shouldn’t waste time stopping!!
Earthquake Fault Site 2½ miles, also Historic Viewpoint, so I’m going to take a look at this.
1,205.8 4:10 Mt. Borah, El. 12,662 feet, is Idaho’s highest peak ... I guess I will go to look at the earthquake area, too.
1,207.3 4:17 Leaving ... picture of one particular mountain which has so much color in it.
208.4 4:19-4:35 Earthquake Interpretive Center ... a number of pictures ending with cactus flowers.
1,210.7 4:40 Back on the main road ... the road is straight ahead ... looks as if it is going to dead end at a mountain, but that will be at the point where it turns and climbs up the cutting I mentioned earlier from way back!
The road has started to clim a little but is still going straight.
1,216.5 4:46 The road is turning now and starting a real climb up through the pass ... the cuttings I could see are where the road is carved into the side of the mountain.
1,218.1 4:47-4:52 Willow Creek Summit, El. 7,160 feet (3rd pass of the day) ... also an Elk Crucial Winter Range ... changed film and took picture.
Lands on each side of the road are public lands, but there can be no vehicles off the road during the winter when the elk come down. They are weakened.. (should have taken a picture because I can’t remember the details!) The elk, in their weakened condition during the winter months, cannot stand the stress of vehicles off the road.
1,220.1 4:55 Challis 23 miles, Salmon 81 miles, Missoula 223 miles.
Descending from Willow Creek Summit, the road is going down into another valley.
There’s a bit of red rock showing through at this point ... haven’t seen much red rock since leaving Wyoming.
I can see a canyon coming up and it looks as if the road goes through it ... can’t see anywhere else that the road would go.
1,227.5 5:02 The road does enter the canyon.
5:03 One picture leaving.
Grand View Canyon.
1,228.0 5:03 Entering Grand View Canyon ... steep vertical cliffs of rock on either side of the road ... it is fairly narrow and the road winds around through this canyon.
1,229.2 5:06 Exiting from the canyon.
5:08 Leaving after stopping for a picture.
What an interesting drive, either climbing over mountain passes or winding through rocky canyons.
Herd of cattle in a field where sprinklers are turned on, maybe watering the grass for hay and in the meantime the cattle can eat the green grass whilst enjoying the cooling effects of the sprinklers!
Challis is coming up shortly and then, according to the map, the route, dotted, from Challis to Salmon is one of the scenic routes here in Idaho ... This end of Challis is pretty attractive looking with mountains, cliffs and rock formations.
1,239.0 5:17 Crossing a full and fast-flowing Salmon River ... The route is called “The Salmon River Scenic Byway”.
The mountains are bare but the color in them is just amazing, yellows, oranges with the green grass and the darker green of a few trees.
1,240.4 5:20-5:22 Stopped at an Historic Marker.
1,241.3 5:24 Challis, pop. 1,073 ... Salmon now 58 miles, Missoula 199 miles.
1,243.1 5:27-5:29 Stopped for a couple of pictures of colored cliffs ... the colors in the cliffs and mountains is just unreal and the deep green of the trees at the foot of them where the Salmon River is flowing ... unbelievable!
1,247.9 Canyon-like vertical cliffs fairly close together and the road shares the passage through them with the river.
This is an awesome drive.
1,251.6 Crossing the Salmon River.
1,252.2 It is a crime that people are allowed to have junk yards around their homes, that is old stuff they don’t use any more dumped and stacked making an eyesore.
1,253.9 The road really is in a canyon!
1,255.1 Out of that bit of canyon, but I'm sure there will be more coming up soon.
1,255.9 Aspens are also lining the road.
1,256.4 The road has risen a bit above the river, so is not right level with it.
1,258.2 Back at water level.
1,258.5 Entering Ellis ... from the view ahead we will be entering another canyon.
1,261.1 5:49 Entering canyon.
1,262.2 Out of canyon, that is the rocky cliffs part but we are still in a valley.
1,264.1 A goat farm.
1,264.4 Entering another canyon, the cliff walls perhaps not quite as high as the last one. Actually the cliffs are far enough apart I wouldn’t call it a true canyon, but then, “What is the definition of a canyon?”.
Webster’s dictionary: A deep gorge or natural cleft, with very steep sides, often containing a stream.
The scenery is spectacular, although I must say it is completely different from anything I had expected. I guess I was expecting the more mountain-type scenery I was used to ... a lot more trees rather than all these bare hills which are mountains. Nevertheless it IS spectacular and I’m enjoying it immensely.
Sometimes it looks as if you are coming to a dead end and it is impossible to know which direction the road will go.
The road is following the Salmon River and I am sure it will get us there!
1,269.2 6:00 Now looks as if we are going into a real canyon ... the rock walls come right down to the roadside and practically down to the river on the other side.
Wherever the valley widens there seems to be a homestead and a small farm.
Continuing in and out of canyons.
1,274.7 Actually quite a community in this opening up of the valley.
Deep red rock formations ... tall, vertical ... at side of road and river right next to that ... beautiful coloring ... wish I could drive more slowly and get a few more pictures.
It is after 6 o’clock at night and I really am behind schedule ... I spend so much time stopping and starting that the day gets away from me ... but I wouldn’t have missed anything I have seen!
1,276.9 Another community ... maybe called Elk Bend (not noted on map). If we ever do this road again I need to plan to travel it in the morning, maybe mid a.m. for better placement of the sun on the cliffs.
1,281.8 A lot of vertical fins sticking out of the cliffs on opposite side of river, some of them look to be no more than 6 inches across.
1,282.9 More fins opposite ... also the cliffs are so high that they are now hiding the sun every so often.
1,285.5 6:19 45th parallel - half way between Equator and North Pole - which means I am at the equivalent latitude as the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed by all the scenery.
1,287.4 It appears as if the valley might be opening up now ... the mountains are receding further apart.
Just saw a sign for Salmon Ht Springs ... actually it is the second time I have seen a sign for hot springs ... Challis was the other place and I think when reading something about the earthquake there was mention of hot springs there, too.
Passing a lot of farms, but they don’t appear to have very big acreage ... on the other hand they look very prosperous ... this is on the outskirts of Salmon.
1,298.2 6:32 Entering Salmon. pop. 2,941 ... driving down the main street of Salmon ... a rather attractive looking town ... very nice store fronts
1,299.2 Crossing the Salmon River. This would be a nice place to stop, but I really have to push on - Missoula 140 miles!
Now passing a sign for the Lewis and Clark Trail, also the Nez Perce Trail.
1,302.9 Crossing the Salmon River.
1,304.6 Looking ahead it looks as if the road is going back into some canyons again ... towering cliffs of orange rock.
1,312.1 The road and river are continuing to meander through the narrow valley/canyon ... very high cliffs ... still on Lewis and Clark Trail.
1,319.7 6:58-7:01 Stopped for Lewis and Clark sign.
1,319.8 7:01 Entering North Fork, where the Salmon River turns westward and my road immediately crosses the North Fork of the Salmon River.
1,319.9 7:01-7:08 Stopped to see if I can get a coffee (.75¢) ... decided to make myself a sandwich ... North Fork General Store & Café ... Gibbonsville 11 miles, Junction with MT-43 25 miles, Missoula 120 miles.
I don’t think I will make too many comments for the rest of the way because I want to concentrate on how far I can go before dark!
That “bunwich” was really good as I was getting pretty hungry.
1,325.5 Nez Perce Trail historic sign but decided not to stop ... shouldn’t make any more stops unless there is something really unbelievable!
1,327.8 I have just realized that I am driving through pine tree ... quite a change from the mountain scenery earlier in the day ... suddenly a big change in the countryside after the hundreds of miles of open country and sagebrush ... can actually smell the pines.
1,330.4 7:20 Entering Gibbonsville (no population given) ... Historic sign here is about Gibbonsville ... Hamilton 61 miles, Missoula 108 miles so that means 47 miles beyond Hamilton, so I may look for somewhere in Hamilton to stay the night!
I wonder if the mountains have become pine clad because they are further north? ... North Fork Salmon River.
This stretch of road is brand new and is in very good condition ... makes driving a lot easier.
7:28 There certainly isn’t much traffic on the road ... I guess that everyone has bunked down for the night!
The road is climbing again and I can see it on the mountainside ahead of me after having done a few curves.
1,339.4 7:30 Lewis & Clark Historic marker, just before road makes a hairpin bend as it climbs the mountain.
The road is built on wire-encased rocks ... What a climb! Still have more hairpin bends and we seem to be going up to the top of a mountain.
Good grief! I can see the road miles ahead it seems and it is still going up! I just hope they tell us where we’ve got to when we get there! This is an amazing drive and climb, but I can’t believe they let trucks down with extra trailers attached like the one that is just passing now!
1,343.9 7:37-7:41 Stopped briefly.
1,344.1 7:42 Lost Trail Summit, El. 6,999 feet (4th mountain pass for the day) ... This is also the Idaho/Montana State Line, so now I have left Idaho for the time being ... it was a spectacular climb.
Just to the east of here MT-43 crosses the Continental Divide at Chief Joseph Pass, El. 7,241 feet and from there the Idaho/Montana State Line actually follows the Continental Divide all the way to the Idaho/Montana/Wyoming border ...
Pass Feet
Lemhi 7,373
Bannack 7,485
Bannock 7,670
Monida 6,823
Red Rock 7,000
Raynolds 6,834
Targhee 7,072
Good Lord! I have two trucks in front of me ... huge trucks, both pulling trailers ... the descent is just as spectacular as the ascent.
Have just passed the mile 6 marker and am still going down, down, down ....
1,351.8 7:52 Lost Trail Hot Springs (m. 8) ... just about down in the valley ... I think it is still a bit further to go, but not like it has been ... just a short respite ... still have quite a bit further to go ... still going down but the road is more or less straight at this point.
m. 10 and still going down.
1,355.7 m. 12.
1,356.3 Entering Sula ... crossing E. Fork of Bitterroot River.
1,356.5 m. 13 and I think it is safe to say we are down! ... now in a canyon with a creek.
1,357.4 This is the bottom of the long run down, for sure ... crossing Bitterroot River ... cross E Fork Bitterroot River.
1,369.3 Sign for Bitterroot Mountain Range ... crossing Bitterroot River.
1,369.9 Jagged sawtooth mountains out to my left.
1,370.5 Historic Marker about Trapper Peak, which is the sawtooth mountain I could see.
1,372.1 A magnificent stone house up on the top of a hill overlooking the valley and the river ... like a mansion ... crossing Tin Cup Creek ... Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.
1,373.4 8:14 Just entering Darby. What an attractive main street ... looks like a lot of remodeled buildings with wooden fronts ... extremely nice.
1,374.2 8:15-8:17 Stopped for a brief rest whilst I take a look at the map ... I think I will keep going because it is only about 11 miles back to US-12 even if I have to go right into Missoula ... I should make a note and think possibly about this as a good stopping point another time ... there are a lot of lovely motels here and it is a very attractive town ... it would be kind of fun to spend some time here.
1,375.0 Hamilton 17 miles, Missoula 62 miles.
8:26 Now 40 miles since crossing into Montana.
1,386.8 Bitterroot River ... outskirts of Hamilton.
1,389.6 Entering Hamilton ... another nice clean-looking town ... there looks to be a nice Best Western (would be interesting to see how much they charge!) ... this is a big town ... I have just crossed over a cross street which looks to be a main street ... also a Comfort Inn here as well as numerous other motels ... I’m on the Old West Trail as well as on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
1,392.5 Crossing Bitterroot River.
1,395.0 3 miles to the junction with US-12 ... ID/MT Log - showing how logs are put together to build beautiful homes ... traffic quite busy along this stretch of road ... more log homes under construction and another place that builds log houses ... must be a well known area for log houses ... another log home business.
1,401.8 Entering Victor ... a much smaller town and not nearly as attractive.
Junction with US-12 24 miles, Missoula 32 miles.
More log home businesses ... pine log homes this time ... Classic Log Homes ... Custom Log Homes.
1,416.5 Entering Florence ... doesn’t look as if there will be a motel here! ... Temperature 74° ... Junction with US-12 9 miles, Missoula 16 miles.
In the twilight the layers of mountains are a purply/blue coloring ... really look beautiful ... the sun is behind the mountains ... the clouds are beginning to turn pink ... altogether very, very pleasant ... just too bad there is so much traffic!
1,425.3 Entering another town which must be near the junction of US-12.
1,425.6 Entering Lolo.
1,425.9 Passed the US-12 turnoff and Missoula is just 8 miles. Looks as if there is a Days Inn just ahead - maybe I can stay there.
1,426.0 9:12 Days Inn, Lolo, MT ($57.00) - cash at Albertson’s $4.15 (meat, buns and magazine) and coffee somewhere .75¢.
End of a long but wonderful day.

The day’s total - 499 miles
Trip Total - 1,426 miles

Day 4 - Thursday, July 16 - Lolo, MT to Yakima, WA

1,426.0 7:37 Leave Days Inn, a beautiful motel - actually looks quite new ... the rooms are almost like suites. continental breakfast - half giant-size muffins (apple cinnamon was very good), juice and have brought my coffee with me. Will stop for gas before leaving Lolo
1,426.2 7:39-7:53 GAS - Lolo, MT - $1.239/gal. - 16.143 gals. - $20.00
There is a Norwest Instant Cash ATM (Wells Fargo) in the convenience store at the gas station.
On leaving the gas station drove south past Days Inn to US-12
1,426.9 7:55 Leaving US-93 and turning onto US-12 West ... Nez Perce and Lewis & Clark Trails ... Lolo Hot Springs 25 miles and Lewiston, ID, 209 miles ... another beautiful sunny morning ... doesn’t appear to be a cloud in the sky.
Today I mainly want to enjoy the scenery as I drive, not stopping for the various points of interest ... there are just too many things.
Just saw a dog house which is also made of logs.
Winding road follow course of stream or river nestled at the base of high, pine-clad hills.
1,445.9 A few rock formations on top of the hills, standing higher than the tree.
1,447.9 The sun still has not reached this section of road.
1,450.0 Historic Marker about the Lewis & Clark route.
1,451.0 Crossed Lolo Creek ... came round a bend and there was huge granite boulders before the resort area of Lolo Hot Springs.
Have just passed mile marker 7 and the miles are decreasing so I will probably be at the Idaho State Line shortly.
1,453.3 Huge granite rock ... sentinel ... half way up hill ... these rocks are partially exposed, rounded tops sticking up.
1,454.7 Passing a chain-up area ... that tells the story that the road will be climbing somewhere!
I could see a road climbing a hill a little way back but I thought it was probably a logging road because a lot of logging is being done in the area and logging trucks have been traveling in the opposite direction.
1,455.6 8:23 Starting the climb.
1,455.9 Mile 3 ... maybe the border will be at the top of a pass again ... a vehicle from Kentucky is going at a snail’s pace in front of me, but around the next corner I can see another car and a motor home, so this will be a “fun” climb!
1,458.9 8:28 Top of the climb ... ID State Line ... entering Pacific Time, so now it is only 7:28 and will give me an extra hour for the day ... Lewiston 170 miles.
Sign: Winding road for next 77 miles ... as if it hasn’t been winding already!
The cuttings I saw earlier were logging trails ... this climb was not very high nor particularly spectacular ... the descent is more spectacular ... the elevation at the top was not given (or I didn’t notice it - there were so many signs there! ... Looking at the map the top was Lolo Pass, El. 5,233 feet.
Lolo Trail Crossing Historic Marker ... still not stopping for these.
The road is fairly spectacular coming this way ... steep gully below the road ... guess road keeps descending till it reaches the bottom.
I can just imagine Walt loving this drive down here provided he didn’t have to share the road with any other cars!
1,463.8 Appear to be down the major portion of the descent ... now following a river or creek along the valley ... it depends on which way the road curves whether in sunshine or in deep shade.
1,468.2 DeVoto Memorial Cedar Grove ... huge cedar trees.
1,468.8 More huge cedar trees ... winding road for the next 63 miles ... Lochsa River below the road ... Lewis & Clark Highway and Wild & Scenic River Corridor ... speed limit of 50 mph now ... I probably should have stopped to see the Cedar Grove (not likely to come this way again!!) ... because mostly what this road is going to be is curves along mountain rivers and lots of trees ... can’t even see the mountain tops because the road is like a passageway, a lane way, between the trees (what I wanted yesterday for respite from the sun!), trees right up to the roadside and even overhanging it.
There is going to be quite a procession here ... I was following a red car for a long, long way, and now the two of us have caught up to another vehicle which is following a UPS van and just up around the corner is a big truck. There are also two motor homes in front of the truck and they are each pulling their own cars, too!!
Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
One of the motor homes had the thoughtfulness to pull over at a parking bay to let everyone go past.
Marked turnouts for the next 9 miles - slowing down of more than 3 vehicles you must pull out!
This is a fun road to drive but one that should be taken at leisure rather than under any pressure to be somewhere at a certain time.
1,497.5 Lewiston 130 miles.
1,515.9 This section of road is quite pretty ... rocky cliffs, trees ... varies from time to time ... have all the same components but sometimes are just more spectacular or more beautiful.
In this case you have high rock cliffs on one side which haven’t been touched and on the other side cuttings at various places for building the road, but creating quite a canyon effect.
1,518.1 Stil in this beautiful area ... waterfall at the side of the road.
1,519.5 Still lovely, but now out of the more spectacular part ... water is seeping out of the rocks on the right side of the road,
1,520.3 End of canyon area ... white water as the river dashes over a particularly rocky area.
All along this road there have been bubbling creeks coming down the mountain sides to join with the river along which I am driving.
There’s not nearly as many wildflowers through here as there are in some of the mountain area where it is more open.
In my mind I am trying to define my feelings about this drive this morning ... in many ways it is as or more boring than traveling on the prairies is to some people ... I can’t question the fact that it is a lovely drive, but it is basically canyons, mountains, rocks, trees, rivers, all components which make for a very lovely scene, but when it goes on for 200 miles and you can’t see the broad expanses and the wide open areas with distant horizons you can feel a little closed in - claustrophobic.
1,534.4 8:53 Entering Lowell, where the Lochsa River joins the Middle Fork Selway River.
Speed limit increased form 50 to 55 mph.
There are some Historic Markers along here, probably something to do with the Nez Perce Trail ... Lewiston id now 93 miles.
Wild sweet peas growing alongside the road, chicory in flower ... not a lot of wildflowers as I mentioned earlier ... there is a motel and café at Lowell.
There have been many signs for campgrounds the entire way ... it is a wilderness area and probably attracts campers and hikers more.
As a young person I would perhaps have been interested more in hiking, but I am also concerned about some of the wildlife, like bears. The idea of hiking through their territory still bothers me.
The confluence of Selway and Lochsa Rivers plus all the creeks flowing into “it” the river has become quite large now.
Beautiful deep blue of the mountain jays ... different from the jays we get back home (Nebraska) ... just saw two of them at the side of the road.
1,541.5 Entering Syringa ... just a small settlement ... a large foot bridge across the river ... yuccas still in flower.
1,543.1 Noticed that the hills above the trees were bare ... completely logged.
There are two or three houses on the other side of the river, but I didn’t see any bridge, so I am not sure how you would get to them!
1,545.5 There seems to be a little bit more settlement ... saw a field with some horses in it ... some of the hills are bare and not as high ... we seem to be out of the higher mountains ... just passed Gayle’s Beauty Lounge!
1,547.5 9:06-9:13 Stopped for road work ... it has only take 3 minutes for those two big trucks to catch up! We leave in a slow procession, a pilot car leading the way.
It is funny! I was thinking earlier what a hell of a road it would be if road work had to be done on it!! There is no way they could do a long stretch of road without a very long wait, so I guess I was lucky I didn’t have to wait all that long.
It’s actually not such a long stretch because I can see the waiting cars at the other end.
1,549.0 9:19 End of pilot and now free to go on our way again.
Have just noticed a couple of men, each in a rubber dinghy, fishing out in the middle of the river.
1,552.1 The hillsides are bare with rocks sticking out of them ... like the volcanic rocks around the Yakima area ... in fact the area looks very similar to going through the Yakima Canyon, although there are still more trees here than there.
1,556.3 Kooskia City Center next left - pop. 700, El. 1,261 feet.
Nearby the Middle Fork Selway River empties into the Clearwater River,
Am away from the granite rocks and into volcanic rock.
1,557.9 9:28 Lewiston now 70 miles ... this section of US-12 could very easily be US-12 in Washington going west from Naches,
There seems to be more wildflowers now, particularly chicory and daisies, some Queen Anne’s Lace, St. John’s Wort, blanket flowers (Gaillardia) clovers, particularly the pink flowered one, as well as various others with which I am not familiar.
Kamiah, Pop. 1,200, El. 1,196 feet ... quite a lot of houses here in this town ... this is the widest valley I have seen since leaving Lolo.
More road work ahead.
1,563.5 A private garden of beautiful wildflowers.
Actually not road work but rather a vehicle taking up the road whilst clearing the side of the road of trees and undergrowth.
Here’s a whole bunch of signs: Mission, Lewis & Clark Route ... whole lot of history signs ... I guess that if I was to go slowly and stop for all these things it would be very interesting to learn about the history of the area.
So far I have been going through the outskirts of this town because now there is a reduced speed ahead ... reduced speed is because the road is completely torn up and it’s just gravel ... a brand new bridge is being built over the river, the Clearwater River.
1,564.6 9:36 Crossing the Clearwater River.
1,564.7 9:36 End of bridge and entering Kamiah, pop. 1,157 ... Lewiston now 62 miles ... magnificent garden on left, lots and lots of flowers including hydrangeas.
Idaho’s NW Passage Scenic Byway, also the Lewis & Clark Trail, i.e. US-12. The road is now on the south side of the river... the river is quite broad, the hills are more bare so you can see more of the skyline and there are still rocky cliffs, but I’m finding this section more scenic than the past section! There is a railway line on the other side of the river.
Just came up to a car with a personalized Idaho licence plate with “BERNICE” on it, though probably not pronounced the way we do ... it was a Chrysler New Yorker car with a lady driving by herself, kind of a senior looking lady.
I would call this section of road really quite scenic as the road clings to the cliff sides with the rushing water of the river below.
1,574.5 The canyon is closing in here, rock cliffs on both sides with the road and the river squeezed in between them, also the railway line!
1,575.9 A Canada goose swimming on the river ... interesting to see a car from Maryland here in the interior!
Very scenic since Kamiah ... Historic Site - Goldrush Ferry.
1,579.1 An old building on the other side - looks a bit like an old hotel.
Greer/Weippe next right ... there is a bridge across the river here.
When you look at the way the cliffs have been carved away for the road and the railway it is hard to imagine explorers like Lewis & Clark making their way through these narrow valleys or canyons. I should try to read one of their diaries.
Orofino, pop. 2,900, El. 1,027 feet, coming up ... first sign is for the Orofino Golf Course, which, in this area, must really be clinging to the mountain side!
1,585.0 The scenery has changed again ... more trees on the mountain sides and not the same volcanic rocky outcrops as further back.
Most of Orofino appears to be on the other side of the river.
1,587.0 Entering Orofino City Limit.
10:02 Lewiston now 39 miles.
Actually there’s still quite a lot of the town on this side ... the road is against the river and all the buildings are to the left.
1,590.7 Still buildings on both sides of the river ... town spread out for quite a long distance.
1,591.8 End of town.
1,593.5 Just saw the first policeman I think I’ve seen since leaving home!
Am following a logging truck at the moment ... up to this point all the logging trucks have been going in the opposite direction.
1,594.6 Am seeing volcanic rock protrusions again.
1,599.6 The hills are bare again and the volcanic rock really showing up ... can see some volcanic columnar jointing.
1,602.8 Lewiston 24 miles, Walla Walla, WA, 127 miles.
1,609.5 It’s looking more and more like the Yakima area.
1,612.9 The basalt columnar jointed cliffs have been carved to make room for the road at their base between them and the river ... just a few Ponderosa Pines, but fewer and fewer trees.
Can see a bridge ahead and it looks as if I will be crossing the river.
1,615.4 10:29 Crossing the Clearwater River ... Lewiston 11 miles, Walla Walla 113 miles.
The speed limit now is 65 mph, but I am at 55 mph because some clout is just puddling along!
1,619.8 10:34 Junction with US-95 ... at this point the road becomes a divided expressway.
1,626.0 10:40 Entering Lewiston, pop. 28,082, El. 738 feet ... have descended a long way in 24 hours - Teton Pass, El. 8, 429 feet at 10:24!
1,627.1 US-90 leaves here for Moscow and Coeur d’Alene, also Pullman and Spokane.
1,628.2 10.42 Crossing Clearwater River again ... This is the Lewiston Levee Parkway that I’m on now ... still US-12 west ... didn’t get to see much of Lewiston itself because just after crossing the river the road veers off to the right whereas the road straight ahead or to the left is more into the city. Actually there’s a sign here - a turn to the left to go back to Lewiston City Center.
There is certainly a lot of twisting and turning around in the city to stay on US-12 to Walla Walla - just keep following the US-12 signs! - need to watch for the signs so see little else!
1,630.7 Crossing the Snake River - it is huge. Clarkston, pop. 6,800.
1,631.0 Sign for Hell’s Canyon - 3 miles to the south ... Hell’s Canyon is one place I really want to go to see some time, but today I have to content myself with getting to Yakima - besides I didn’t even think of doing it on this trip.
At some point I have crossed into Washington, probably when crossing the Snake River, though not really sure at what point.
1,632.5 Walla Walla 97 miles ... there’s a large river at the side of the road here and there are barges on it (Snake, I think).
1,635.0 Some good examples of columnar jointing at the side of the road ... very high columns.
The Snake River takes a right angle turn just after Lewiston.
1,639.5 The river turns north at this point and US-12 turns south.
After leaving the river the road climbs somewhat and the hills now have sagebrush growing on them ... no trees at all.
1,645.8 Chain-up area, so must be climbing again!
1,648.5 My ears have just popped and the road is still climbing, winding around through the hills.
1,649.7 Lots of cliff swallows flying around ... maybe they have nests in the basalt cliffs like where the painted Indian faces are after Yakima on the way to Naches.
1,650.4 There is actually a house tucked down below the road here, below road level ... not sure how you would get to it.
The road is still climbing ... Ah! A steep downgrade! ... I think I will pull into the rest area here.
1,651.5 11:10 ALPOWA SUMMIT, El. 2,785 feet, so that was a climb of just over 2,000 feet.
1,655.0 Historic Marker ... Three Fork Indian Trails.
1,657.9 Entering Pataha.
1,659.3 Entering Pomeroy ... in fairly narrow valley ... farming being done on both sides of the road at various points and continuous from the last town ... not just the farming, but also house.
This town has banners along the street with picture of old very nice house or building.
1,660.8 I think I am now getting to the main downtown area ... some very attractive buildings, a lot of them brick ... interesting frontages and there’s the building with the towers, the one on the banners ... the Garfield County Courthouse.
1,661.6 Leaving the town ... Walla Walla 66 miles ... this is going to be one of those roads winding through the hills ... can’t really see where it goes until you get closer to the corner ... you can see all the hills and the road winds in between them.
1,667.2 Looks like a crop of wheat on either side of the road ... also hay going up the hill ... only narrow fields because going up behind them are volcanic rocky hillsides.
Five motor homes or caravans, one behind the other, then three big semis, another caravan and another semi all climbing uphill ... got a long slow climb ahead of them.
1,669.5 It looks like a lot of hard work has been done to clear the hillsides of stones because there appears to be grass or crop ... will be harvested for seed or hay?
Oops! There’s a truck going the same way as me except it is coming towards me! I wonder if it is a hairpin bend on this road or another road! I think it is WA-127 going north to Spokane ... the road is on the cliff above me.
1,673.4 11:33 Leaving Stop sign at junction of WA-127.
1,674.1 Walla Walla 52 miles ... the crops or hay are already being harvested ... lovely golden color.
Entering Columbia Conservation District, so i guess this is after the Columbia River which I will see at some point today.
Entering Columbia County.
1,676.5 “They” have gone quite high on the hillsides with their cultivation and it looks very attractive - a patchwork quilt of yellows and golds.
1,683.2 A small orchard with young (small) trees.
1,684.4 Crossing the Tucannon River.
1,688.4 I am amazed at the number of hills with crops growing on them ... at the same time the road is making another long climb ... has a passing lane all the way up.
The patchwork of different golds continues with a little trimming of green grass here and there and brown of tilled soil.
1,690.7 The top of that hill.
1,692.5 Picture through car window ... the road is dropping down into a rugged valley.
1,695.7 11:54 Entering Dayton - “Welcome to Historic Dayton” pop. 2,500, El. 1,606 feet ... lovely old building which looks as if it could be a courthouse.

From AAA Tour Book
     "At the center of a prosperous farming region, Dayton claims the oldest courthouse and railroad depot in the state."

The Columbia County Courthouse has a square tower on top with a walkway around it.
Oak Harbor Freight Lines is a big truck with two trailers being pulled behind it - Oak Harbor is on Whitby Island.
1,697.5 Walla Walla 29 miles ... seeing all these crops is quite something to behold.
1,703.5 Passing grain elevators ... the crop is growing right out to the side of the road, both sides - just amazing.
1,705.3 Entering Waitsburg.
1,705.7 12:06-12:08 Stopped for onions - $10.00 for bag of Walla Walla Sweets Waitsburg was settled in 1859.
1,706.8 Walla Walla 20 miles ... I am enjoying this drive immensely.
1,715.2 Entering Dixie ... very fancy building for the Dixie High School.
I don’t think I have ever seen so many cultivated hills ... interesting, too, because the hill is cut alongside the road here, like a cutting and the crop is right to the crest of the hill.
1,720.8 Visibility is poor at present ... farmers are tilling their land and it is hot, dry and rather dusty.
1,721.4 Walla Walla next 7 exits.
1,721.7 12:25 Exiting for Business Route US-12. I might as well go down through the town as i do want to take a break here ... maybe I will see a park and a picnic table ... at least i can go quietly for a while!!
1,726.5 Coming into the downtown area ... there are some quite tall buildings, about 10 storeys high I would think, maybe 12 ... a very nice area but it does look like an old town.
Stopped for traffic light at 9th Ave. - arrows pointing to the city center to the left, also to Pendleton, OR.
1,727.3 12:41 Decided to take a road north to US-12 and get out of town because I am wasting time looking for a park and I’ll just pull up at the side of the road to have a snack.
1,728.7 12:45 Back on US-12 west to Pasco ... sign for Yakima coming up.
1,729.5 12:45 Ah! Not too bad! Yakima 130 miles.
Lots of roadside outlets for Walla Walla Sweets.
Well, that was rather confusing but at least I’m back on the highway ... it seemed like a nice town in the valley ... quite prosperous and, obviously, from all the farming around, it is a prosperous area.
The traffic is very heavy now ... even though the yellow line down the middle of the road is dotted, there are also rumble bars, so if you pass someone you go rumble, rumble across the middle of the road!
1,739.3 Entering Lowden.
Finally found out or realized what CAN. stands for, because I always think of it as meaning Canada ... I just saw something CAN. Rd. and part of the sign said “Canyon Road”.
1,743.5 Entering Touchet, Pasco 29 miles.
1,749.4 Round a corner and down a hill and looking across to the hills on the other side they look as if they are planted with grapevines so is possibly a vineyard ... getting closer they think they are young fruit trees, but are planted so close together maybe it is a nursery for fruit trees!
Ladrow (??) Is now 101.
Coming around another bend then there was a junction with another road there is a great expanse of water - river dammed up.
1,757.5 Passing the little town of Wallula ... historic sign “Fort Walla Walla”.
1,758.9 The Boise Cascade Paper Division Paper Mill Containers, the Walla Walla Branch ... smells of cabbage, rotten cabbage ... paper mill on the bank of the dam or reservoir.
Geting into orchard country now, and corn.
1,766.2 Field of onions, i.e. bagged onions ready for pickup.
1,768.4 Crossing the Snake River.
1,768.8 Other end of the bridge and entering Pasco.
I guess this freeway, US-12, has become I-182.
1:34 Yakima 81 miles.
1,780.5 1:38 Crossing the Columbia River.
1,783.0 1:40 Crossing the Yakima River.
The road has risen up out of the valley where all the rivers are on the other side of Richland and am coming to the junction with I-82.
1,786.8 1:43 Have now joined I-82 to Yakima ... 67 miles ... I-82 follows the valley of the Yakima River and I spot the water every so often among the fruit trees and gardens ... also the rocky palisades of lava rock.
Actually the road is above the west palisades of the river and to the west of the road the hills still go up a lot higher.
1,800.4 I have just spotted the snow capped peak of a mountain, Mt. Adams ... I always feel that it is such an incredible sight when you see these snow-capped mountains towering over the countryside ... What a sight! Because of the haziness it just looks as if the white mountain (Mt. Adams) is surrounded by the ocean and it is just sitting out there.
1,806.4 Crossing the Yakima River.
1,808.1 2:02 Leaving the interstate for a Rest Area.
1,809.0 2:04-2:20 Rest Area ... drank up what milk I had left and made a tomato sandwich with my last tomato and last bun ... was very tasty and much appreciated ... first time, other than to buy onions, that I got out of the car since leaving at 8 o’clock this morning ... and I have been on the road for 7 hours and 5 minutes!!
1,809.8 2:22 Back on the interstate.
Am just passing a whole field of hops.
Mt. Adams is slightly off to my left and now I can see Mt. Rainier also - straight in front of me ... it is lovely to be able to see these two lofty sentinels looking over this fertile valley.
1,849.8 Crossing the Yakima River.
1,853.8 2:59 The interstate is currently going through Yakima.
1,856.5 3:01 Leaving US-12 at 40th Ave.
1,860.0 GAS - Yakima, WA - $1.079/gal. - 17.877 gals. - $19.29
ARCO gas station - cash only, pre-pay! Long line - takes forever!
3:20 Leaving from gas pump.
1,862.0 3:27 Arrive Sarah’s.
End of day.
Went with Sarah and Dan to a party (14 people) at the Golf Club in the evening ... very nice time.

The day’s total - 436 miles
Trip Total - 1,862 miles

Day 5 - Friday, July 17 - Yakima, WA

Lazy morning around the house ... at noon went to the Bridge Center to play duplicate bridge ($8.00) - Sarah and I came in 3rd - not bad for playing for the first time since last in Yakima a year ago.
After bridge we went downtown shopping - bought a set of luggage wheels, Penney’s, at the Yakima Mall $16.19.
Back home, we enjoyed a swim.

Day 6 - Saturday, July 18 - Yakima, WA

Sarah drove me southwest of Yakima to home of potter to pick up the casserole dish Sarah had her put aside for me a year ago! ($53.80).
The next stop was at one of the friends who had been at the Club the previous night - an English lady whose daughter is getting married in England ... saw through her house ... redecorating ... antique English-type furniture ... lovely.
Then to J C Penney’s again - bought a nightie ($23.73).
Next Costco - lunch was sampling all the “goodies” ... bought Lewis and Clark book, also some bread ($17.00).
Then it was on to Zilla to the Covey Run Winery which was having a celebration - wine tasting and food (barbecue), which we did not have because we had eaten already!!! Bought wine ($7.00).
Back home we enjoyed a swim before preparing dinner for company, - burnt potatoes and used roasted garlic with brie cheese instead (very good), pilaf, pork chops, broccoli (my recipe) and I made the mango/pineapple/honey dew melon fruit salad. After dinner we played bridge.

Day 7 - Sunday, July 19 - Yakima,WA to Vancouver, BC

1,862.0 10:44 Leave Sarah’s ... Sarah and I are driving to Vancouver together and shouldn’t take more than 5 hours
2,044.1 1:35 Traffic almost at a standstill ... three lanes backed up ... flashing lights of something ahead, maybe an accident!
2,044.9 1:39 Past problem site and on our way again.
2,060.4 1:56-2:50 Exit-227 - Stopped at Witzels for lunch.
2,060.7 2:52 Back on freeway.
2,108.0 3:37 GAS - Blaine, WA - $1.079/gal. - 10.665 gals. - $11.51
4:03 Through Customs, thank goodness!
2,140.0 4:52 Arrive Anna’s. Anna prepared a wonderful meal for us:- Appetizer: shrimp and pita bread, followed by Greek salad and salmon fillets and Meringue/Lime Dessert.

The day’s total - 278 miles
Trip Total - 2,140 miles (Lincoln to Anna’s)

Day 8 - Monday, July 20 - Vancouver, BC

2,140.0 Start of the day
2,143.0 12:50 I forgot to turn the mileage back before leaving today so am doing it now, that is having done 2.7 miles along Broadway to the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) for Sarah to shop. I am waiting in the car.
This morning Sarah and I had coffee and scones at Jabba Jabba downstairs then walked west on the north side of Broadway as far as Canada Trust (deposit $5.00)and back on the south side - spent $6.69 on coffee, scones and magazine, $14.75 on wine.
We then drove along Broadway to MEC ... I took a couple of picture from the roof-top parking at MEC.
From MEC we drove to Queen Elizabeth Park where we had lunch at Season’s In The Park (wonderful tomato salad), then walked around the garden for a while.
Next we drove to the second hand book store at the corner of 41st and Dunbar. From here I took Sarah down to see the horse stables only about 4 miles from Anna’s, then we returned to Anna’s..
We had “Take Out” sushi for supper and watched a rented video, “As Good As It Gets”.
Tension was already building in the household!

Day 9 - Tuesday, July 21 - Vancouver, BC

I can’t really remember much about today ... mid morning Anna, Sarah and I went to Granville Island to shop for ingredients for dinner at Viv’s and Rob’s ... had our lunch whilst there.
Back at the apartment, Anna marinated the chicken and got everything ready to go over to Viv’s and Rob’s.
We went downtown to Eatons shopping ... Sarah wanted a blender and she went off to The Bay. Anna wanted to go to look at some clothing and took me to Cotton Ginny Plus for some shorts, including spandex which I could wear under my dress
Returned home to pick up supper supplies then drove to North Vancouver.
Soon after arriving at Viv’s, I drove to the “Shop and Save” to buy ginger (Australian) and ground almonds.
We sat on the deck for drinks, but ate inside ... chicken kebabs, Greek salad, pita bread. It was a good visit and they were pleased to have the cigarettes!!
2,212.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 72 miles for yesterday and today
Vancouver Mileage - 72 miles
Trip Total - 2,212 miles

Day 10 - Wednesday, July 22 - GRADUATION

Walked down Broadway for brunch at Calhoun’s ... very pleasant place to sit and visit. Anna still had to get a few items for the gifts at graduation.
2,212.0 Leave Anna’s for the Graduation ... very nice ceremony and lovely afternoon tea.
[Anna was in a foul mood before leaving home - she can’t cope with anything that doesn’t quite go right!]
Stopped at Costco’s on the way home to get Dijon Mustard and Nescafe Coffee.
We were supposed to be going out for a celebration dinner, but there was a lot of tension in the air and I just wanted to get out of the place ... very hurtful that Anna is so intolerant of me ... I feel that I have been a bad mother in that I have not taught her how to consider the people around her and their feelings ... here am I having driven 2,000 miles to spend a few days with my daughter, 4½ to be exact and she worked one of those days, to celebrate her success, and she wants to have her own space! I don’t know when I will see Anna again, but it was too much to expect to spend 3½ days with her without her wanting me out of her hair!
Much as I love my daughter and wish for a happy relationship with her, I am in no hurry to return to Vancouver. It will be much more fun traveling around the U.S. criss-crossing the country on new highways.
Back to the celebration dinner - Sarah and I decided to get out of the house and leave Anna and Walt to their own devices! I would have liked to pack up my things and simply leave!
Sarah and drove into downtown Vancouver, found a parking spot opposite Canada Place where we spent the evening ... walked around taking pictures of the lamps with their spiky tops to prevent seagulls landing on them.
We decided to have a light meal at “The Prow” restaurant - a great salad made with watercress and smoked salmon with capers ... both very flavorful.
We did not get back to the apartment until about 10:30 expecting Anna and Walt to be in bed. Instead they were watching a video
2,251.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 39 miles
Vancouver Mileage - 111 miles
Trip Total - 2,251 miles

Day 11 - Thursday, July 23 - Vancouver, BC

2,251.0 It seems to take forever to get going in the mornings, so, although it was planned to spend the morning downtown, (on the way into town we stopped along Broadway for Anna to remit her application immediately for RDN - Registered Dietician Nutritionist), we only had time to walk a short distance along Robson and have a quick snack before Anna and I had to head back to the car to drive to LP's Auntie by 1:30.
Adam (LP's second cousin) was already there when we arrived ... had a lovely visit learning a few more family “secrets” ... it was so interesting the time just flew and it was time for Adam to leave for work. Anna and I left soon afterwards.
Arriving home there was a message to say that Anna’s RDN was ready and another message that she had 4 shift for work, for which she would get a higher salary because her RDN had been approved! We waited for Walt to come in from work, and after he showered we drove downtown to meet Sarah about 6:30 or 7:00 at the Art Gallery to see the special exhibition of Indian Masks ... it was the first time Walt had been to the Art Gallery!
From here we drove to Queen Elizabeth Park to have celebration (?) dinner at Seasons In The Park. [I again had their tomato salad - great - and salmon - always like seafood when I’m at the coast]. We had a great seat by the window with a view overlooking the city and everyone seemed more relaxed.
2,316.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 65 miles
Vancouver Mileage - 176 mile
Trip Total - 2,316 miles

Day 12 - Friday, July 24 - Vancouver. BC to Seattle, WA

2,316.0 Leave Anna’s,
From Anna’s we drove along Broadway so we could leave Anna at the building for her to pick up her RDN.
Total miles done in Vancouver - 175.4 miles.
2,318.0 10:03 Leave Burrard and Broadway, start homeward journey.
2,349.2 11:12 Leaving Duty Free Store in White Rock.
2,349.7 11:40 Through Customs and on the way.
2,369.8 12:02 Mitzels, Bellingham, for lunch.
2,370.0 GAS - Bellingham, WA - $1.159/gal. - 15.527 gals. - $18.00
2,423.5 2:05-2:17 Stopped at a Visitor Center to collect all kinds of information.
2,451.2 2:48 Entering Seattle - (Exit-166, Stewart Street or Denney Way).
2,458.9 3:03 Leaving the intestate (Exit-166) and down Stewart Street towards the waterfront.
2,460.3 3:17 Parked at Public Market.
2,461.2 6:49 Leaving from near the waterfront (1 block over from Yessler).
2,465.4 7:22 Arrived at Max’s (Sarah’s son) & Angela’s
Dan met us here and we all went out to dinner downtown to celebrate Max’s birthday
12:15 am When we arrived back my car was totally blocked in and there was no way of being able to move - cars back and front almost touching bumpers! It took quite a while but we eventually got through to the police with our complaint.
We waited and waited, but they never showed up. Fortunately Sarah found that she could open the door of the car behind me and we pushed it back far enough for me to be able to get out.
12:33 Outside Angela’s and Max’s waiting for Sarah because she is going to drive with me to the motel near the Seattle Airport.
2,483.0 1:07 Arrive Marriot Hotel, Seatac.
2,483.2 Parked the car for the night.
End of day.

The day’s total - 167 miles
Return Trip Total - 167 mile
Trip Total - 2,483 miles

Day 13 - Saturday, July 25 - Seattle, WA, to Deer Lodge, MT

2,483.2 9:22 Leave Seatac Airport Marriot Hotel.
Sarah and Dan only had a few hours sleep before leaving the hotel by 6:00 am to fly to Juneau, AK. I went back to sleep for another 2½ hours!
The hotel concierge gave me a 5x3 inch card with instructions on how to get over to I-405 ... correct instructions make it easier to find the way to the right highway!
9:28 Entering WA-518 which is a freeway and will take me east.
2,486.8 9:30 WA-518 turned into (or became) I-405 ... I have decided to Exit-the interstate at Exit 5, WA-900 - Sunset Blvd. N to Issaquah.
2,491.5 9:35 Leaving I-405 ... WA-900 is a cutoff which will take me across to I-90, but will be a quieter road (first car for the day from another state - Maine - a beautiful red Corvette).
It’s a pretty drive through hilly country, not a high speed road because it curves quite a bit, but going through some towns and seeing the shopping centers they have is quite interesting..
This road should come out in Issaquah ... lots of fireweed in flower at roadsides as well as road passing under a canopy of trees at times.
2,498.5 Passed the 18 mile post.
2,499.1 9:48 Entering Issaquah ... had its centennial in 1982.
2,501.0 9:53-10:15 Stopped at McDonald’s in Issaquah for some breakfast ... quite a deal: $1.41 for a sausage egg McMuffin, hash brown and coffee plus refill of coffee. Soon I will be on I-90 heading towards Ellensburg.
2,501.5 10:18 Entering I-90.
2,505.0 10:30 Exits for North Bend and Snoqualmie ... now in the mountains but there is a haze over them and some clouds hanging down in the valley ... not a clear day.
There are a lot of motor homes, caravans and boats, people all going on vacation, I guess.
2,573.0 11:23 Indian John Hill, El. 2,141 feet ... this is the area from which you get a view of the Stewart Range, Mt. Stewart in particular. I’m not stopping this time.
All along the roadway there have been numerous wildflowers ... large variety ... not all ones I know ... there is still free coffee at Rest Areas on Washington highways.
2,576.1 12:26 Elk Heights, El. 2,359 feet.
Now the road is going down again and there are a lot of trees on the hillsides, but some of the hills are quite bare.
2,590.0 175 miles to Spokane, 38 miles to Yakima ... also I have been passing some parts of the Yakima River, but just here and there ... people in tubes and floats on the river.
2,592.0 Just passing the huge feed lot in Ellensburg ... quite a number of cattle, but not as many as I have seen on some occasions.
2,592.5 Crossed over Canyon Road, the one that goes through the Yakima Canyon and valley, but from what Sarah said, the canyon is closed due to huge landslides from heavy rains - 4 inches in one hour!
2,593.5 11:41 Passing Exit-110 for I-82 to Yakima.
It is quite a warm day, but not excessively hot. However there is a sort of heat haze all around the hills ... no clouds in the sky ... pale, pale blue ... leaving the valley where Ellensburg is located the hills are sagebrush covered, also very rocky.
The hilly, rocky, sagebrush countryside is what Sarah would refer to as the desert ... a term not so much for desert sands (dead deer alongside the road) as the fact that the area receives a low annual rainfall.
The road is climbing and up near the top is a Rest Area ... maybe I will just drive through in case there are any scenic views, otherwise don’t intend stopping!
2,608.8 11:54-12:02 Ryegrass Rest Area, El. 2,535 feet - a brief stop. From here, if I remember correctly, the road descends to the Columbia River.
2,609.9 12:04 The road is winding downhill ... Vantage is 10 miles ... at bottom of hill.
I have seen many semi trailers, pulling an extra trailer behind loaded with bales of hay.
Still going down ... 2 semis each pulling two trailers loaded with corn.
Still going down, but came around a corner and caught a brief glimpse of the river. I don’t think that I will stop at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park (was thinking about doing so) ... now looking straight across the river whilst still descending.
2,619.4 Down on the causeway leading onto the bridge over the Columbia. The causeway reaches into the river for some distance and now at.
2,620.0 12:13 Just going onto the bridge.
2,620.6 12:13 Of the bridge and starting up the other side.
2,621.4 A waterfall coming out of the side of the hill.
2,622.3 12:14 Pulled off I-90 to go to Scenic Overlook ... it may be altogether too hazy for pictures.
2,622.7 12:15-12:25 Stopped - 4 pictures: Columbia Valley, sign and 2 of horse sculpture ... there is always something new to see.
2,623.4 12:26 Back on I-90 ... Spokane now 141 miles.
2,631.9 Passing one of these double trailer rigs bringing corn eastward this time!
2,634.9 Exit-151 for WA-283 north to Ephrata and Soap Lake ... this is the point at which I have entered I-90 on two previous occasions when coming from Grand Coulee Dam, the first time with Mary in 1995 and the second time with LP in 1996.
There’s a sign along the road saying the crop names are on the fence line for 14 miles ... potatoes ... sugar beets ... onions for seed ... wheat ... carrots for seed ... more potatoes ... What a wonderful idea. There is a lot of irrigation throughout this area - the sprinklers are actually on now, a very fine misting.
[Crash on the road - car lying on its side and somebody lying out on the road - so much for their holiday] - one need to be driving very carefully with the amount of traffic.
... sugar beets ... grain - corn, sweet corn ... potatoes ... sweet corn ... sweet corn ... potatoes .......
Just as well I had decided I wasn’t going to this Rest Area as it is closed for repairs!
... alfalfa ... alfalfa baled for hay ... potatoes ... I think I have come to the end of the crops along the road.
2,651.3 The road is dipping down again into a valley and there is more irrigation and various crops.
2,656.5 Huge sheds for storing bales of hay.
Exit-174 for Mae Valley, also Moses Lake State Park.
2,657.2 12:55 Entering Moses Lake ... going through Moses Lake a couple of police sirens so guess they are on their way to the accident I saw.
2,679.3 Exit-196 ... I’ve got a feeling this is the one LP and I had to drive to in order to do an about turn the night we slept in the car at a Rest Area - we had to go back east for a way before turning north to go to Grand Coulee.
2,680.9 1:16 Passing the Rest Area where we tried to sleep in the car when we couldn’t find a motel in Sand Point, ID, Coeur d’Alene, ID or Spokane, WA.
There is still a very extensive area of farming ... maybe just hay!
2,700.3 1:36 Ritzville next two exits.
Jaklin Seed Company on the east side of Ritzville ... also a lot of trucks all with the name on them, so much of the farming done around here could be for seed production.
2,718.9 1:49 A lake to the south side of the road - Sprague Lake... Four Seasons Campground on the shores of the lake ... has a few trees around it ... most of the surrounding countryside is brown or yellow with ripened crops.
The sky is a little bluer now and there’s a lot of nice fluffy clouds.
I am feeling very tired so will have to pull into a Rest Area if there is one before getting to Spokane.
2,749.6 A lake on the north side of the freeway and an Exit-here for place called Four Lakes, Cheney ... hillside had uneven strips of about four different shades of yellow/brown colors ... it looked very beautiful.
2,754.0 Policeman picking up a hitchhiker ... I guess for being on the freeway ... the hitchhiker has a couple of backpacks and a dog! Goodness gracious me! I don’t know how he thought he was going to get a ride.
2:21 Now approaching the outskirts of Spokane.
2,761.7 2:27 Leaving I-90 in Spokane ... I think this is a mistake - piles of traffic, construction, but I’m off now so will see what happens.
A rather nice looking city all along the waterfront near the Spokane Falls, but I couldn’t find any parking so have decided to continue, but I need to find somewhere to eat.
2:45 It’s also 101° ... I’ve gone too far up the hill and am having trouble finding the restaurant I wanted to go to ... it is quite a high hill to the south of the city, that is the downtown area, which is in a large valley, the valley of the Spokane River.
2,768.7 2:52 Back on the freeway ... Exit-287 - I’m getting off again because I really must have something to eat and should also get gas at this point as well.
2,773.3 2:58 Perkins ($8.50) ... the gas gauge pinged as I crossed the road to the gas station.
2,774.0 GAS - Spokane, WA - $1.139/gal. - 17.5 gals. - $19.45
2,774.6 3:50 I am back on I-90, after eating and getting gas.
I also noticed a Norwest Financial Institution (Wells Fargo) and, forgetting it was Saturday, I went over there to get some cash, but it was closed.
2,784.6 The hillsides are now pine covered and the hills and countryside have lost some of their barren appearance.
The border is coming up!
2,786.1 4:01 Idaho State Line ... “IDAHO IS TOO GREAT TO LITTER”.
Captain John Mullen is the name of the highway (that is the interstate) ... Coeur d’Alene is just 10 miles ahead ... here’s another big place with warehouses for the Jaklin Seed Company.
Motor cyclist without a helmet!
Entered Post Falls, pop. 7,300, El. 2,169 feet ... sign for Coeur d’Alene showing the island tee on the golf course.
2,794.1 4:08 Leaving the interstate for the ID/Mt Welcome Center.
2,794.5 4:09-4:20 Welcome Center ... picked up some tourist literature ... made a $1.30 donation for a cup of coffee and a donut ... lovely Rest Area ... picnic tables under pine trees.
2,795.1 4:21 Back on the highway and immediately there was a sign for Coeur d’Alene next 5 exits ... pop. 24,561, El. 2,157 feet.
2,797.7 Exit-4 - US 95 N to Canada.
2,800.8 First glimpse of the water of Lake Coeur d’Alene ... just looks magnificent ... the road is going up Potlatch Hill ... Missoula 164 miles ... I plan to spend the night in Missoula.
What a beautiful drive! Coming over the hill, following hills around with lake at the bottom ... just a glorious sight on a beautiful day.
2,813.9 4:39 Fourth of July Pass.
Stupid trucks are a menace on this road because you get one truck trying to pass another truck side by side for miles and miles going uphill ... too steep for them to pass ... should be a law that they shouldn’t pass in such locations ... it is a very winding road, twisting and turning around the mountains.
2,824.1 Passing a mission - CATALDO MISSION ... Old State Park, National Historic Site and the oldest or longest standing building in Idaho.
2,825.0 Crossing the Coeur d’Alene River.
2,828.1 Another accident with a number of cars involved ... can’t tell whether it is on this side of the road or the other ... maybe the other, but have spun dirt across to this side!
2,829.3 4:55 Entering Pinehurst, pop. 1,722 ... the police are on their way.
After getting away from the heavily populated area of Coeur d’Alene and environs the speed in Idaho increased to 75 mph ... new since I was last here.
2,833.6 There go two more police cars heading towards the accident.
2,835.1 4:58 Passing through Kellogg, pop. 2,600, El. 2,305 feet.
The speed limit is supposed to be down to 45 mph here because of loose gravel (road metal) put down on the road ... I don’t want any broken windshield, but no one else seems to care!
2,840.1 Entering Osburn, pop. 3,579 ... still traveling slowly ... do not pass signs which a couple of cars have ignored and which have flung up some stones, but I didn’t get hit, fortunately!
Wallace is an historic area and might be worth visiting sometime ... I probably said this the last time and again I am just passing through!

From AAA Tour Book
     "Wallace, junction of four major canyons claims several of the world’s largest and deepest silver mines, some founded in the late 1800's have 200 miles of tunnels ... number of historic buildings still standing."

Wallace, pop. 1,010.
2,847.1 Leaving Wallace.
The route through the mountains is narrow and winding ... being at the bottom of a valley the road at times is completely in shadow.
2,852.6 5:17 Entering Mullen, pop. 821 ... judging from many of the names along here, I think there must have been a lot of mining.
2,854.6 Lookout Pass is 4 miles, speed limit is 55 mph ... the road is climbing now.
2,855.9 5:20 Leaving the highway for an historic site ... pictures of two historic signs, one about a tressle bridge and the other about rich mining operations in this valley, the richest in North America.
2,856.2 5:24 Back on the highway and the upward climb ... lots of wildflowers, including Indian Paintbrush.
Lookout Pass is 1 mile at Exit-0.
2,858.6 5:27 Exit-0 - Lookout Pass, El. 4,860 feet... Montana State Line Montana Speed Daytime - Reasonable and Prudent, Trucks 65 mph , Night All Vehicles 65 mph ... also leaving Pacific Time and entering the Mountain Time Zone, so the time is now an hour later - 6:27! ... pictures.
2,859.3 6:34 Back on I-90.
2,860.0 Missoula 104 miles ... just entering Lolo National Forest.
2,863.5 Chain removal area ... passing a pretty Rest Area among the pine trees.
The road is running parallel with the St. Regis River ... have actually just crossed the St. Regis River, just before the Exit-10 - for Saltese, and crossing the river again.
There was a big crowd at the little town I have just passed - De Borgia - sign for De Borgia Days ... the road has been on a long descent for quite some time with some fairly sharp curves.
2,891.5 7:02 Exit-33 - sign for Glacier National Park.
2,892.3 Crossing Clark Fork, still descending quite steeply.
Crossing Clark Fork again ... quite a big river.
2,898.2 Crossing Clark Fork again.
2,902.8 Crossing Clark Fork again.
Crossing Clark Fork again ... seems to be deeper down in the valley ... still quite big.
2,915.4 Passing another very nice Rest Area among the pine trees.
Crossing the Clark Fork again ... two falcons (or hawks ?) Looking out from their nest on top of a telephone pole.
Crossing Clark Fork again ... wonderful colors in the rocky hills ... like a great big canyon ... can’t see the water this time ... beautiful drive.
Crossing Clark Fork again ... big log house back amongst the trees with lots of bare green grass around it ... also looking very nice, and of course the river.
2,929.1 7:32 Pulling out for the Scenic Turnout.
2,929.3 7:32-7:52 The turnout is for a scenic part of the river where there is a waterfall.
Spent $30.00 here on two wood carvings from black cottonwood bark ... the artist also gave me a piece of cottonwood bark for me to try carving something for myself!
2,929.5 7:52 Back on I-90 ... a beautiful river valley ... so much for being in Missoula by 8 o’clock!
7:58 Missoula is still 27 miles ahead! ... slow speed limit because of road work ... road reduced to one lane ... Stop sign coming up ... all traffic stopped at the moment.
2,936.3 7:59-8:02 Stopped ... a pilot car will lead the traffic over the road work area.
People were rowing in a rubber dinghy on the river.
2,937.3 Crossing Clark Fork again ... both directions of the highway are having road work done on them ... seem to be both gravel surfaces and pilot cars are leading the traffic in both directions.
It is extremely dusty because of all the gravel.
2,938.8 Crossing Clark Fork again ... passing another pilot leading traffic in the opposite direction - two going that way ... actually there were a lot of pilot cars at the other end so maybe they are going to do this all night long.
Looking back down the valley in the rear vision mirror you can’t see anything except dust and maybe a few tree tops sticking up out of the dust.
Just passing a third pilot going in the opposite direction.
I would not have made Missoula by 8 o’clock even if I hadn’t stopped at the Scenic Turnout.
2,941.4 8:12 End of road work - end of speed zone.
2,943.0 8:13 Missoula is 20 miles ... there’s a lake on the north side of the road with people swimming in it - Frenchtown Pond State Park ... just before Frenchtown.
The road is going through a wide fertile valley ... farming ... cattle up on the hillsides ... the amount of civilization is greatly increased ... quite a lot of houses and the farms are smaller.
2,952.6 8:21 Exit-96 for US-93 north to Kalispell and MT-200 west to Sand Point. This is where LP and I turned off to take MT-200 to Sand Point in 1996 and where we joined I-90 after staying in Polson and coming south on US-93 on our way back from Vancouver via the Canadian Rockies in 1996.
2,955.4 The road does a big curve along with the valley ... the road is at the north eastern side of the valley at the foot of the hills and looking around the bend you can see Missoula laid out sort of just below the hills.
It appears as if I-90 doesn’t go all the way into Missoula as the road has now taken a turn and is going into a valley, a narrow valley away from the wide valley the road was in before! ... I had forgotten that this happened - haven’t forgotten - just don’t remember it at all. There is no Exit-for Missoula except at Exit-96 for US-93!
At this point I-90 is also US-12 and MT-200 ... it is 2 miles to Bonner, 45 miles to Drummond ... It will be interesting to see if I can find somewhere to stay now!? ... that is having missed Missoula, pop. 42,900, El. 3,223 feet, which only has the one Exit-off I-90!
2,964.7 Crossing Clark Fork again.
MT-200 leaves at Exit-109 and goes to Great Falls, MT.
Crossing the river again, the bridge on the east bound lanes is being rebuilt so it is two-way traffic for a short distance.
2,967.1 Crossing the Blackfoot River ... this section of road is also two-way traffic on our side this time because the bridge is out on the other side ... there have been three bridges out so far.
Sapphire Mountains out to my right.
2,982.1 8:48 Am leaving the highway at Exit-126 for Rock Creek to see if I can get somewhere to stay ... don’t much like the look of it so am going to return to the highway.
2,982.8 8:51 Back on I-90 ... I have now done 500 miles since leaving this morning!
There is a railway line running alongside the road and I can see a tunnel through the hill ahead ... the road must wind around a bit ... the road and the river go around, the train through.
There is some kind of festival going on ... buses and buses ... cars parked all over which way! So I’m glad I didn’t leave the highway and waste more time! I can even smell BBQ’s as I drive past.
The sun has gone down behind the mountains and it wont be long before it is dark, so I hope that I can find something soon.
The trouble with traveling on the interstate it makes it more difficult to look for a motel.
2,999.2 Passing a Rest Area and probably the historic point that was mentioned half a mile back along the road.
Boy! Is it ever pretty here, even in the twilight ... colors in the rocks and the hills ... just gorgeous ... colorful rocky cliffs overlooking the highway as it enters a canyon.
3,000.6 Wonderful hills and rocky outcrops.
Clark Fork.
3,005.0 “Welcome to Drummond” - “World Famous Bull Shippers”.
3,007.9 9:12 There are some pretty colors in the western sky to the back of me, but it is really getting much darker.
9:25 Not truly dark yet, but close ... it is probably only as light as it is because I am so far north, so much further north than what Nebraska is.
3,027.6 9:28 US-12 east to Garrison and Helena is just 2 miles ... that is where I really want to get off but there are no services so I will go the extra 10 miles to Deer Lodge and I know there should be motels there because it is a bigger place ... it is also where LP and I stopped in 1996 to eat at a 4B’s restaurant.
3,029.6 9:30 Passing the Exit-for US-12 ... nothing about a motel or anything else.
9:31 Crossing Little Blackfoot River.
3,030.8 Dead deer at the side of the road ... next Exit-is local access only ... so it is on to Deer Lodge.
Oh! Lots of lights ahead ... hooray, Hooray! Still a lot of color in the sky to the west.
I’ll be leaving the highway on Business I-90 at Exit-184.
Deer Lodge next two exits.
3,039.8 9:38 Left I-90 for Deer Lodge.
3,043.0 9:54 Western Big Sky Inn, Deer Lodge ... got my room and now I.m going to unpack the car.
I had driven into the outskirts of Deer Lodge, stopped at Western Big Sky Inn ... they only had a suite left (2 queen beds and lounge, coffee table in one room, another queen bed in a separate room, kitchen facilities and bathroom ... I tried to get somewhere else but couldn’t so came back to suite!

The day’s total - 560 miles
Return Trip Total - 727 mile
Trip Total - 3,043 miles

Day 14 - Sunday, July 26 - Deer Lodge to Miles City, MT

3,043.0 8:32 Leave Western Big Sky Inn.
Stopped at Safeway across the road to get some ice ($1.29 a block).
3,043.1 8:38 About to leave Safeway.
9:04 Leaving McDonald’s - Breakfast $2.49 (same breakfast as yesterday which was only $1.41!).
3,045.4 9:07 On I-90 going west to Garrison where I will Exit-on US-12 to Helena (the only section of US-12 in Montana I will miss will be the few miles between Lolo and I-90 at Missoula.
It is only 9 miles back to US-12, so not really very far - Missoula is 81 miles back!
♪♬ “I love my big sky country ... I love Montana ... I love Wyoming ... I love the big, wide open spaces ... and it’s so geat to be able to sing about it” ♪♬.
I’m just about to leave the interstate, turning into Garrison and off to Helena.
3,053.8 9:14 Exit-175 - leaving I-90.
9:14 Stopping for first Historic Point of Interest - Site of First Log House in Deer Lodge Valley built 1859 by John F. Grant, pioneer stockman and trader.
Have been on US-12 east for some time now - Avon is 12 miles, Helena 44 miles and I am going to stay with US-12 for most of the way across Montana.
Interesting - just passed mileage post 1 ... maybe this is #1 in Montana for US-12, even though there is about 50 miles of US-12 west from Lolo to the Idaho border! Also there is the section from Lolo to Missoula and the combined road, US-12 and I-90, from Missoula to Garrison!
3,061.0 Crossing Little Blackfoot River.
Another beautiful morning and the road is winding and twisting through the hills, rally big hills, and there are ranches scattered here and there through them.
Of course, the road is following the valley of the river. This would be the way so much of the country was discovered, explorers followed the water courses through the hills and mountains ... Mile 10 - the road is rising a bit and the hills are becoming more rugged, quite rocky in fact, and even rock slides coming down from the cliffs.
As well as the rocks, the hills have become covered with a variety of conifers, mostly juniper, but fir and spruce as well.
Now crossing a wide valley which is at right angles to the road ... beautiful green.
3,067.1 9:28 Entering Avon - just a small town with some pretty old looking buildings in the middle of the valley ... the next town is Elliston.
3,067.8 Crossing Little Blackfoot River again.
I’m glad that I went into Deer Lodge rather than coming out this road last night because it’s really quite beautiful and would have been too dark to see anything or get the full impact of the beauty.
3,072.0 Have just passed the first white crosses I’ve seen ... three of them.
3,075.4 9:35 Entering Elliston - there is a motel here - maybe could have stayed here? Helena now 21 miles.
3,076.7 Little Blackfoot River - between here and Helena there is a climb up to a mountain pass ... chain-up area.
3,077.9 9:38-9:42 Stopped for historic sign ... 2 pictures - Mullen Road sign and hillside where there are some kind of mining operations.
3,078.5 Just passed the sign for Mullen Pass - there is an ➔ pointing to the north side of the road where there is a gravel road going off, probably the original road!
This road, US-12, goes over MacDonald Pass.
3,081.0 9:47 Lewis and Clark County ... turning off the highway to go to Vista Point Overlook and Continental Divide Trail ... beautiful wildflowers everywhere ... gravel road to the top ... Oh! It’s just incredible ... what a view!
3,081.6 9:48-10:15 Stopped ... more wildflowers blooming than you can possibly count including lupines, wild geraniums, mountain phlox, goatsbeard, pussy toes, everlastings - on and on - roses harebells.
I’m back on the main road ... MacDonald Pass and Continental Divide, Elevation 6,325 feet ...have pulled off to take a picture of an historic sign.
10:23 Leaving ... from here it is a steep grade for 6 miles and trucks are advised to travel at 25 mph maximum.
3,084.3 10:27-10:37 Scenic turnout ... picture looking back to Continental Divide (where I had been) ... changed film ... picture of grasses and distant view with polarizer ... valley view without polarizer.
3,086.6 10:43 Leaving after a couple of picture looking back up.
There is a narrow road going up to Priest, which would be the other pass mentioned on the historic sign.
3,088.6 Chain removal area.
Since it is already 10:48 and I haven’t yet done 50 miles I am thinking I will drive straight through Helena, sticking with US-12. I really want to go a long way and I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent so far along this part of the road.
One thing I am pleased about is the fact that there have been so few white crosses along this road and that really makes me happy because I just hate to see those things and think about the number of people who have been slaughtered on the highway!
3,094.0 Now there are houses on both sides of the road, side by side, quite a community. Obviously I must be on the outskirts of Helena.
Had I got away from Seattle earlier I probably would have stayed in Helena last night. It would be wonderful to be up at MacDonald Pass mid to late afternoon to get a really good light on the surrounding mountains ... Helena is a beautiful city surrounded by mountain ranges.
3,099.0 11:01 Am more or less in the heart of the city now, just following the signs for US-12.
3,099.9 Crossing over I-15 north to Great Falls.
3,100.5 11:03 On the east side of town now - Townsend is 32 miles.
I wish LP was here because I really would love him to see this ... I know that I get mad with him when he is sitting in the car like a bump on a log and yet it would be so much nicer to share this with him.
If LP couldn’t be here I wish Stu could because Stu just loves seeing the countryside and I think he is the same as me - he does it better if there is someone with him.
3,103.0 Entering East Helena ... the whole area is like being in a great big basin surrounded by the mountains.
Cross Prickly Pear Creek ... I think this is the name of the creek we go through the canyon with when traveling north on I-15 to Great Falls.
3,104.2 11:08 Momentarily turned off highway for historic sign ... The Manlove Homestead sign and the oldest building in this county.
3,104.4 11:12 Back on US-12 ... this is also US-287, the road I have traveled previously from Three Forks on I-90 to Helena with Anna in 1993 and again with Mary in 1995 ... Three Forks is 63 miles from here, but I will stay on US-12 which branches east from Townsend - 28 miles.
3,110.5 Just passed a Lewis and Clark Trail sign.
Have caught up to a long, long train with Burlington Northern cars on it, kind of rounded on top and all enclosed so am not sure what they would be carrying ... probably grain?
I’m driving at 65 mph on a two-lane road, traffic one lane each way and cars keep catching up to me, so I am feeling a bit of a menace. However, this is the road on which Anna and I counted so many white crosses ... so tough! Actually, I haven’t spotted any white crosses so far. The road is quite busy but I presume most of the traffic is coming up from the interstate and hopefully wont be quite so busy when US-12 turns off.
3,119.0 11:27 Winston ... Townsend now 13 miles, Three Forks 48 miles.
Almost immediately came up over a hill and there is a lake, Ferry Canyon Lake, spread out to the east of the road so US-12 wont be turning east until the southern end of this.
The road and the lake are in a wide valley between two mountain ranges, Big Belt Mountains to the east and the Elkhorn to the west.
3,123.3 11:31-11:35 Turning off the highway - historic sign and viewpoint “Thar’s gold in them thar hills”.
3,123.9 11:36-11:37 Pulled up to take a picture of some old silos.
3,124.5 11:39-11:44 Stopped again for silos ... the ruins of the silos are quite a landmark ... there is also a Silos Inn and a Silos Campground.
Also took a picture of a white cross and a lost teddy.
3,131.0 11:52 Crossing the Missouri River.
3,131.5 11:52 Entering Townsend ... I am stopping for gas here as I am not sure where the next gas station is likely to be.
3,133.0 11:54 GAS - Townsend, MT - $1.199/gal. - 15.428 gals. - $18.50
Just ahead of the gas station I can see the turnoff for US-12 ... After getting gas I changed tapes in my recorder so will be starting a new one here.
12:06 Leaving the gas station in Townsend ... Three Forks and Bozeman straight ahead on US-287 ... White Sulphur Springs east on US-12.
3,133.2 Turned east along Townsend’s main street, leaving US-287 ... 87° according to sign on a local bank.
12:06 Heading towards White Sulphur Springs, 42 miles, where I guess I should try to get something to eat because it will be around 1 o’clock by then ... maybe a bit before, maybe a bit after! The road is straight as I go ahead here for a while and, as I had suspected, there seems to be a lot less traffic.
At some point I will be leaving the mountains behind and getting out onto the open prairie.
3,144.6 12:19 The little community of Deep Creek, nestled right down in a narrow valley ... am approaching a “Chain-up area” which means the road will be climbing up to another pass ... just passed a mile-12 post on US-12 (this means each section has its own distance) - 12 miles out from Townsend ... creek and road winding through a canyon.
3,145.6 The chain-up area ... water racing over the rocks as it goes downstream.
Although I have passed the chain-up area the road has not started to climb very much yet,
3,147.5 People sitting right at the side of the road fishing in the little creek which is babbling past.
The road must rise very gradually - it seems to go up and down a bit although the creek is still going down of course, but the road has not come to any major high point ... beautiful drive through here, the canyon becoming quite narrow in places, then widening out sufficiently for there to be a house or a picnic ground.
The cliffs have been cut away for the building of the road and in some places the cliff comes down to the stream edge, so in places I suspect the stream has been slightly diverted ... The broken rocks in the cliffs look a bit like shale,.
Beautiful brown hawk flew across the road ... fireweed in flower along the roadside, i.e. beside the yellow clover which is so prolific throughout the entire country.
The road starting to climb now
3,154.9 and we are out of the canyon and there are bare hills ... still some with trees on them but most are quite bare ... some sagebrush is starting to appear.
3,156.1 Entering Meagher County.
3,156.2 The top of the rise ... no sign as to what elevation it is.
At this point I appear to be traveling NE and to the east there is still a mountain range which maybe US-12 will cross!
Some big insect must have been absolutely loaded with blood because I have a splat of blood on the windshield about ¾ x 3 inches long.
Although starting to go down the road is going up and down ... over a hill and there is another wide, fertile valley spread out before me.
3,161.3 12:37-12:47 Stopped - took a picture of a tree on a hill and a couple more looking down into valley with yellow clover, and wasted a lot of time trying to get a bumble bee on the clover ... gave up in the end!
On my way again and a prairie dog just ran across the road.
3,164.4 Just passed the place where it says, “Chain-up Area” - that would be for going in the opposite direction.
3,164.9 Passing a field with big rolls of hay.
Hillside to the east of me is covered with clover and is completely yellow.
3,165.7 Junction with US-89 to Livingston.
3,166.1 Crossed the South Fork of the Smith River ... White Sulphur Springs is now 8 miles, Harlowton 67 miles ... and there is actually a patch of snow up on one of the mountains in the range to the west I just came across, maybe Mt. Edith, El. 9,480 ft, in the Big Belt Mountains ... the range to the east is Castle Mountains.
3,166.8 12:53-12:57 Stopped for historic sign ... Smith River Valley ... one picture of that and a picture of the Big Belt Mountains with the patch of snow.
What a beautiful valley ... so pretty with the greens, yellows and browns, the very, very dark green of the trees where there are trees on the mountains ... rocky outcrops.
I have just noticed up on Castle Mountains to my right big fins of rocks sticking out on top of the mountains ... possibly give this range its name.
3,171.9 1:02-1:03 Stopped for a picture across the crops to the fins in Castle Mountains.
3,174.1 1:06 Entering White Sulphur Springs ... there’s the Spa Hot Springs Hotel ... lots of bars - Buckaroo Bar, Stockman Bar ... I’m looking for a café somewhere.
3,175.0 1:09-1:37 TRUCK STOP CAFÉ ... seems to be quite a popular little spot with the locals as well as with people passing through.
I had a chicken breast sandwich with lettuce, tomato and pickle for only $3.75 - very tasty.
From here I am going back into town to visit The Castle & Carriage House.
3,175.5 1:40-2:26 “The Castle” - tour cost for seniors $2.00 and I bought a book for $2.50 ... changed film at end of Castle picture.
3,176.0 2:28 Just passing the Truck Stop Café where I had my lunch.
3,178.3 2:31 US-89 leaves US-12 at this point for Great Falls whilst US-12 goes east to Harlowton 55 miles. Billings is 147 miles, so I’m really behind ... the day is going too quickly or else I’m stopping too much! Ha! Ha!
3,183.9 2:36 I’ve done 140 miles since this morning!
3,185.4 Passing a lake on the left hand side, white pelicans swimming on the water.
3,185.8 2:38-2:40 Stopped ... one picture of lake ... probably Lake Sutherlin, also named the North Fork of the Smith River Reservoir.
Some of the hills are becoming quite bare now ... another prairie dog running across the road, but I can’t really see any evidence of any prairie dog towns.
3,194.1 2:48 Billings 131 miles, Harlowton 39 miles ... also at this point am passing another lake, Bair Reservoir, smaller than the previous one ... however someone is boating on it.
3,195.1 The road is climbing above the lake level, also winding around as it enters a canyon ... not really a canyon but a pass over the range, the north end of the Castle Mountains, and coming out into the open almost immediately ... a small town, Checkerboard.
3,195.9 Entering this small settlement.
3,196.3 Leaving ... just as the judges of our monthly competition would say “a good all round picture” or “ altogether a lovely picture” I’m going to say that this drive is an altogether lovely drive!
3,199.0 A herd of buffalo over on a hillside.
3,201.1 2:55-2:56 Stopped again momentarily ... two or three pictures of rocky hillside.
The countryside is starting to flatten out a little bit at this point ... Yes an altogether lovely drive ... irrigation ditches are winding around the hillsides ... there are some high hills to the back and north or left hand side of car ... the higher ranges are more to the south or right hand side of the car.
3,210.9 Just spotted a white cross ... I’m really pleased I’m not seeing too many of these ... I find them a sad reminder of how many people lose their lives on the highway.
3,219.6 Two crosses.
Very faintly in the clouds on the horizon there seems to be another range of mountains stretched ahead.
I’ve seen a lot of sprinklers working today, too.
I’m traveling in a more easterly direction now and the range of mountains I could see is more to the northeast ... looks to be snow or landslides on the bare patches and the top, but I very much doubt that it is snow (!) But it just looks it in the distance.
3,227.4 3:20-3:22 Stopped for Crazy Mountain sign ... picture of sign and one of the mountains with hay rolls in front.
Just passed a gateway into a farm or ranch ... had name on top “Need More Land & Cattle Company”.
Just before coming to the next town I saw a heron fly over the road.
3,231.8 3:27 Entering Harlowton.
3,232.0 3:27 Junction with US-191.
Just passed Harlowton Chief Joseph Rest Area and I am pulling up for a statue I can see in front of what might be a courthouse.
3,232.4 3:28-3:35 Stopped - sculpture: “And they called the land Montana”.
3,232.4 3:35 Turning south through the historic district - 88° ... Groves Hotel built in 1908, a large stone building with a verandah around it with white pillars, a corner round room for the two upper storeys ... quite a nice old building but the sun is in the wrong direction for any pictures.
I have turned around and will return to US-12 now ... there are actually quite a number of stone buildings.
3,233.0 3:39-3:42 Stopped at a gas station to get a snack ($2.29 for bag of chips and a Mountain Dew - no tax here in Montana).
Very nice looking motel (can’t see the name, but very nice looking - Countryside or something along those lines!)
Lewistown, which is to the north on US-191, 55 miles, Billings 91 miles ... another motel - Corral Motel.
I will stay on US-12 - Ryegate 29 miles, Roundup 68 miles.
Three white crosses, decked out with flowers ... one white cross and another one.
I mentioned ranches before ... as I go along I come to gateways which name the various ranches so you know I am in ranching country.
There is an irrigation channel or ditch right along the south side of the road and beyond that is a meandering stream.
3,246.6 Another cross!
3,248.9 Entering Shawmut - “if a person blinked they would miss it!”.
3,251.3 Cross.
Coming into an interesting area now - the hills are more or less flat on top and drop off sharply, part of it would be from the creek which is running through here and gradually worn away over millions of centuries ... quite interesting.
3,261.5 A large flock of sheep on the flat land at the base of these rocky cliffs.
3,261.9 4:09 Entering Ryegate.
3,262.6 4:10-4:17 Stopped on the eastern edge of Ryegate for Chief Joseph historic sign ... one picture ... Roundup now 39 miles.
Forsyth is 140 miles ... this is where US-12 joins I-94, an interstate which begins in Billings and goes as far as Detroit, MI.
There must have been quite a waterway coming through here at one time which cut out these cliffs on either side.
3,273.3 4:23 Stopped ... one picture ... and have turned around.
3,273.8 4:25- 4:32 Turned around again ... took more pictures before continuing east.
Sure is Big Sky Country now - all around me for miles and miles and miles - just beautiful.
3,278.4 Passing a runway with an air sock alongside it.
3,279.1 Passing the turnoff for MT-3 to go down to Billings ... possible that there could be even less traffic now! Though there have been quite a number of vehicles going both directions the traffic hasn’t really been bad.
The distances you can see when coming over a crest or slight rise is just unbelievable and it reminds me of the distant views from Brooks when traveling from Calgary to Medicine Hat in Alberta.
At the moment the bare hills seem to be giving way to forested hills and I am not sure why that is ... why the change unless it has at some time been planted ... seem to be mostly pine trees.
967.2 Cross ... quite an unexpected pine forest ... forest still going on and on - Wow!
3,292.4 Some fields of corn both sides of the road.
3,295.1 More corn ... also alfalfa and cattle ... something which I have forgotten to mention but have seen all day long are the stacks of beehives all over the place, very high, tall stacks of them.
3,299.3 There are still a lot of rocky cliffs all along the way. Hello! What do we have? A T-junction! Yes, a T-junction at the intersection with US-87 to Billings and to Roundup.
3,300.1 4:54 Stop sign at junction ... Roundup now just 2 miles, although there are enough houses here for this to be the outskirts of the town.
3,300.5 4:55-4:58 Stopping for Cow Country sign.
3,301.1 4:59 Entering Roundup, Musselshell County ... built below and on top of rocky coulee ... there is a Norwest Bank (Wells Fargo) here so maybe tomorrow I might be lucky enough to see one.
The main street is four lanes wide plus parking on both sides ... some quite old looking buildings, also there are motels here.
3,302.1 5:02 Turning and leaving US-87.
3,302.4 5:03 Out of town ... Musselshell 33 miles, Forsyth 100 miles.
The road is still following the course or valley of the stream, which, according to the map, is the Musselshell River. It is to the south of the road. Because of a disused bridge along here I realized the slight embankment also to the south of the road was once a railway line ... all the ties and rails have been removed now, but the railroad trail is there.
Fields of alfalfa being irrigated with large sprinklers ... a ripened crop of rye both sides of the road ... now cornfield and alfalfa (called lucern in Australia).
When there is a good supply of water and flat area of nutrient-rich soil, probably silt from the mountains over centuries, it is amazing the beautiful crops growing here and such a contrast from the rugged cliffs that bound the valley.
3,319.8 Cross - just as the road came round a hill and over a crest ... now on the north side of the road the cliffs have really huge boulders rather than the smaller rocks they are made up of sometimes.
Passing a pond with ducks and geese on it ... the road has no shoulder so there is nowhere to pull up for taking pictures of some of these things which I might otherwise stop for!
There is a lot of water through here besides just the river ... lots of pools, ponds, whatever you want to call them, sloughs, cattails in them, etc. ... the rocks give the area a lot of character.
3,325.3 5:23 The road is leaving the river at the moment, is climbing to the top of a rocky cliff, then turn a corner and go down again but not as close to the water as before ... forested hills to the south, bare rolling hills to the north.
There have been a few cars along here, but not nearly as many as there were before the turnoff for Billings.
US-12 goes to the south of the next town, all the houses being on the north side.
3,336.0 5:32 Entering Melstone ... black and white cones on the south side of the road mark an airstrip.
3,336.6 End of town.
3,336.9 Sumatra 16 miles, Forsyth 66 miles ... Montana roads are marked by a number in an Indian arrowhead whereas those in Washington are in a silhouette of the head of George Washington.
3,339.1 Musselshell River.
3,341.4 On the north side of the road - a large circular field on the side of a hill, not too steep, with irrigation pipes rotating around it, the sprinklers in operation as I drive past.
The road has been fairly straight for miles, just going up and down, up and down for miles and miles across the undulating countryside.
This route does not allow you to see many different licence plates - I’m probably just about the only fool who explores roads less traveled!
3,348.1 Picture to the east and one to the west, probably not very good, but I wanted to try them anyway.
3,349.8 Curve in the road!
There seems to be more beehives rather than anything else through here.

Sumatra - an old log house falling over and one farmhouse - that was it! ... And I have a farmer in front of me who is going at about 35 mph ... have just been able to pass him and it wont be long before he is just a speck on the horizon in my rear vision mirror!
The cattle congregate around the sloughs in the low lying areas, probably because of the hot weather more than anything.
Where the sloughs have dried up there are no water reeds or anything ... the ground is white so is probably quite salty.
3,356.9 Starting to pass through an area that could be badlands in a few thousand years! ... the edge of the erosion of the flat-top hills looks as if they could very easily become hoodoos as the erosion continues to take place.
3,359.7 More beehives ... no crops or at least I can’t see any around here for fertilizing so it must be for collecting honey! ... there are also a couple of dozen horses to the south of the road - beautiful looking animals ... another dozen running from east to west where the first group I mentioned is.
3,361.4 5:55-5:58 Ingomar Historic marker, and I am going to drive south into Ingomar before I continue on ... I took a picture of the sign which mentions some buildings on the Historic Register ... crossing over a cattle ramp I am now on a dirt road.
3,361.7 6:00 Another cattle ramp and I am in Ingomar.
3,361.8 6:01-6:34 Stopped - I rather lucked out. Ingomar is a hive of activity - horses and cowboys and BBQ dinner to raise money for the Rodeo Club. I lined up for dinner which consisted of cole slaw, beef, baked beans, garlic bread and a beverage, all for $5.00,
Mostly all that is left of Ingomar is a ghost town, but it was worth visiting and at least I have had my supper which I hadn’t expected to have quite now.
3,362.7 6:37 Back on US-12, after having driven around town to find the school - it was a good visit to Ingomar - houses all broken down, a number of windows boarded up - pretty obvious no one lives there any more!
3,385.1 7:01 Back on US-12 after making a short detour to take a picture of an abandoned, two-storey brick building, which looked as if it could have been a school at one time and seemed to be the only building that remained in Vananda.
3,388.0 A potential hoodoo area again.
3,390.1 Crossed a couple of streams - Big Porcupine Creek ... road going off to the left ... hoodoo-type formations on the cliffs near this road ... light colored sandstone with a much darker stone, harder, sitting on top of it.
3,390.9 Picture of rocky cliffs.
3,393.1 Dozens more beehives ... the road is following a river valley and because of water there are a few more trees here, mostly cottonwoods.
The flat valley to the south of the road is covered in different kinds of crops, plus there are more houses in the area as well.
The beehives are about five high and stacked in blocks, I guess with entrances out, but otherwise just a whole block with two on each side ... the car in front of me had to put his hand out to signal a left turn!
Must be approaching Forsyth - there is a large “F” on the cliff on the other side of the river ... on top is a very large white cross and I can just see the interstate.
3,402.5 Crossing the Yellowstone River.
3,402.7 The other side of the river and approaching the junction with I-94, US-12 and I-94 to Bismarck, North Dakota.
3,403.4 7:19 Entering I-94 ... beautiful building in the town of Forsyth - could be a county courthouse.
3,405.6 Bismarck 314 miles, Miles City 42 miles.
The Yellowstone River was full to the brink ... ripened crops on both sides of the highway and in the late afternoon or early evening sunshine they have a beautiful golden glow on them.
There appears to be some badland formations to the south ... the river cliffs to the north remind me very much of the South Saskatchewan River.
The view over the Yellowstone River valley with all the cultivation is very beautiful.
3,419.9 7:32 The road is dipping down into a coulee and just at the beginning of the descent is a cross.
3,420.9 At the bottom and going up again ... junipers growing in the arroyos.
3,421.6 7:34 Back up again - looks as if the road is going to dip down into another coulee and I know there is a Rest Area coming up ... better stop in case there is a good view or something!!
The road is quite close to the river here ... the Rest Area is too low down to be able to see the river, but there are some historic signs here.
3,423.1 7:36-7:46 Rest Area ... historic signs for Rosebud and Cattle Brands.
3,423.3 7:46 Back on I-94.
3,424.2 Five white crosses on the other side of the road.
Lots of horses, cattle, crops, hay ... the gently rolling prairie has given way to a much more rugged countryside, the hills more pointed and rockier, deep coulees going down to the river ... not just regular grasslands.
“Bastard” from Oklahoma scattering stones because he is going on the loose gravel 10-15 mph faster than the suggested speed - just because it’s Montana he doesn’t care about the speed!!
The road is going up and down quite a lot - coulees all lead towards the river.
3,440.7 Descending into an area which is much wider than just a coulee - part of a valley and cultivation is right up to the road.
Now there are crops on one side of the road and sagebrush on the other with a backdrop of badland type formation, i.e. on the south side.
3,446.0 Crossing the Tongue River.
3,447.0 8:07 Leaving the interstate.
3,447.4 Entering Miles City, pop. 8,500, El. 2,364 feet.
8:17 Got a room (#224) at Days Inn which is quite close to the interstate.
3,448.0 Days Inn, Miles City, MT - parked outside room - end of day.

The day’s total - 405 miles
Return Trip Total - 1,132 mile
Trip Total - 3,448 miles

Day 15 - Monday, July 27 - Miles City, MT to Medora, ND

3,448.0 Start of day; drove to McDonald’s for sausage egg McMuffin and coffee which I brought back to the room ... I didn’t realize that McDonald’s was so close, otherwise I would have walked!
I handed in my complaint sheet at the front desk - no bath towels in the room, which was pretty upsetting for me having undressed for a shower before realizing there were no towels!
7:50 Leaving the motel ... before returning to the highway I drove down the main street to see something of the town and to drive as far as the river ... Miles City has lovely tree-lined streets and some beautiful homes.
7:59 70°.
3,450.2 Entering downtown area and passing the Custer Count Courthouse ... turning off the main street on MT-59 so I can go to see the Yellowstone River here before I leave and give me the opportunity to see more of the town.
3,451.4 Start of the bridge over the river.
3,452.0 8:02 Turning around.
3,452.4 8:03-8:09 Stopped ... had to change films ... directly north of bridge for pictures of the river ... now to return to Miles City and thence to the highway.
Between the edge of town and the river on the south side of the river there appears to be a bit of farming ... some pretty old shacks which appear to have been here for a long, long time.
As far as I can see there doesn’t seem to be any nice parks along the river, but maybe if I knew which street to go down or had more time to explore I might find one!
3,457.0 8:24 Passing Days Inn.
3,457.0 8:24-8:31 GAS - Miles City, MT - $1.149/gal. - 14.405 gals. - $16.55
I think that I have to go on the interstate for one interchange, then US-12 will leave for its own route.
3,457.4 8:33 Entering I-94 (also US-12 at this point).
3,459.9 8:35 US-12 leaves I-94 ... will go east to Baker ... no gas next 82 miles, but since I just filled the tank, I wont have to worry about that ... a rugged countryside - buttes ... coulees ... badlands ... colorful layers of rock or soil showing up as erosion has taken place
3,465.4 8:41-8:45 Stopped in a “chain-up area” - one picture but the sun was behind a cloud.
As the road climbs the hill there are pine trees and junipers on the slopes.
3,467.1 8:50 Reached the top and here there is a chain removal area ... seem to have left the badlands area behind, though I am sure there is going to be more ahead ... I know there are badlands at Medora.
Having reached the top the road is level for about 1½ miles ... more beehives among the pine trees ... great ranching country.
I had not expected to be in such hilly country ... rather I thought it would have been more grasslands ... flatter.
There are a lot of trucks on the road - big ore trucks traveling both ways, guess empty going east and full going west!
Two antelope to the north of the road.
3,477.5 The road is getting back into some badland-type country again ... there are still pine trees on some of the slopes.
3,479.6 9:04 Starting to go downhill into badland-type country ... just a fantastic view ... great pallette of colors in the eroded hillsides.
3,483.7 The road is still going down ... there are trees at the bottom of the valley which means there could be a river or creek and I can see the road going up on the opposite side ... historic point in ½ mile.
3,484.9 9:09-9:14 Stopped ... this is also the bottom of the hill ... Powder River sign ... two more pictures, one of bridge and one looking back to badlands.
3,485.2 Crossing the Powder River and the road is starting the climb up the other side of the valley.
3,486.6 9:16-9:19 Stopped for pictures looking back over the Powder River valley.
US-12 continues to be a wonderful and most interesting drive.
3,497.0 9:30 Pulling into a Rest Area - not stopping because nothing that presents any good pictures.
3,497.3 9:31 Back on the highway ... I had thought that with the spectacular country I had been driving through that the Rest Area might offer some wonderful views.
3,500.1 With less erosion the land has become more rolling hills covered in green grass with a few odd trees here and there, but mostly bare ... also some ponds in the low-lying areas ... then again, looking ahead, you can see more rugged country occurring.
Powder River - I keep going over the name in my mind and I’m sure I have passed it somewhere before! Yes, it rings a bell because there is the Powder River Rest Area along I-25 near Kaycee, WY.
3,505.6 I noticed there was quite a number of hillsides which have slid about 5-10 feet and where these landslides have taken place it opens up the soil to erode away - you can see how the erosion occurs.
3,511.0 9:43 Stopped for road work ... this is at the junction with MT-320 ... road work is supposed to be taking place over the next 13 miles, so it will be interesting to see if we have a pilot for the entire 13 miles!
In the rear vision mirror I can see a white cross at the side of the road.
I am wondering now whether all the trucks I have seen have been bringing material to the road work and returning empty to Miles City.
Yes, there is a pilot car which has just come through with everything (not really that much) following it.
I have one car in front of me and nothing behind.
9:50 Setting off with the pilot ... Plevna 13 miles, Baker 24 miles ... someone else came along just in time because now I have a vehicle pulling a trailer behind me.
3,512.1 Crossing the O’Fallon Creek - quite a lot of water in it ... farm at the bottom of the valley ... the other side of the road has fresh pavement on it and they are rolling it ... this side has not been done yet.
Actually there were two cars in front of me and now there are two behind as well.
3,512.7 Field of donkeys, maybe about a dozen, babies as well.
I really like it when there is a pilot to lead the procession, because that way no one is stupid enough to pull out and speed past like that car from Oklahoma last night.
3,515.7 9:57 End of pilot ... flagman at the other end ... now free to go on our own.
As well as cattle there are crops to be seen along the road.
3,522.9 More road construction, next 7 miles I think it said.
3,523.2 Entering Plevna ... can see two churches, both with bell towers, a few houses, grain elevators and a senior citizen center.
3,524.0 55 mph for the next 7 miles ... it looks as if they are building a completely new road ... Baker 12 miles.
There was construction of a new bridge over the creek in Plevna and now this road which is in a very bad state of repair has all the clearing done as if a new road will be made at the side of this one.
A lot of cut and baled hay through the area ... The road is also being leveled out a bit ... ahead of me the road goes up quite a big hill and on the left hand side drops off with quite an incline where they have carved out the cliff for the new road.
Lots of big container tanks for the Butte Pipeline Company.
At the end of the road work, instead of having a speed sign and setting the actual speed limit the sign says “Resume Speed” Through part of the work area it was 55 mph and where work was actually being done it was only 35 mph.
Approaching Baker ... surrounding area is rich farming country.
3,535.5 10:18 Entering Baker, El. 2,945 feet, - “A City For All Seasons” and claimed on street banners - “There’s fun for all in Baker”.
There are a number of motels here ... a four-way Stop sign in the middle of town - US-12 continues straight ahead, and just after the crossing and behind the houses along the street there is a huge lake.
On the banner that says “A City For All Seasons” there is a dinosaur, there’s sailing, mining, golfing, fishing, hunting, skidooing, farming ... a nice little community.
3,536.8 10:22 Passing quite a large working oil pump ... Marmarth, ND, on the Little Missouri River, is just 18 miles.
There’s quite a number of oil pumps in the region, in fact there are a lot of them.
I have seen a lot of meadowlarks all the way from Miles City, also low sunflowers growing along the roadside - all the way through, but in clusters.
Oil pumps surrounded by rolls of hay.
3,546.4 Two drilling rigs to the south and one to the north.
Immediately after that the road passes through some eroded hills, badlands erosion.
3,547.5 10:31-10:33 Stopped for historic marker ... Montana - Howdy Stranger sign.
3,548.2 10:35-10:36 Welcome to North Dakota ... the speed limit is 65 mph, so no more racing across the prairie as in Montana!!!!
The countryside continues much as it was this side of the state line ... oil pumps, farming, ranches, hay, some badlands outcropping - the distant view, however, is of a rugged landscape.
3,551.1 The road is getting into more rugged territory now.
3,553.4 Turned off the main road onto a gravel road just to go up a hill here - there was a sign portraying binoculars as if there was a viewpoint.
Finding none I decided that I probably should not have turned off, so will find somewhere to turn around and go back!
3,553.7 10:43 Turned around ... country very rugged and road is very rough - Golva 37 miles.
3,554.0 10:44 Back at the highway.
3,554.5 10:46 Entering Marmarth ... I’ve got a sneaky feeling that the rough road was the one I was planning on taking north!
Some very old derelict buildings here ... the old railway station on blocks.
3,555.1 10:47 Little Missouri Scenic River.
3,556.4 10:50-10:52 Stopped in a pull off area looking at the map - I think that I should return to Baker, MT, and go north from there because that other road, the rough one I turned onto, looked just ridiculous for me to be driving our car over ... a gravel road usually doesn’t scare me but this one was just too rough!
3,557.7 10:54 Re-entering Marmarth (from the east).
3,558.1 10:57 Leaving after a picture of the station.
3,558.5 10:59 Picture of Mystic Theater ... Restoration of this property which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is funded in part with the assistance of a matching grant in aid from the National Park Service, Department of Interior and administered by the State Historical Society, North Dakota.
Barber Auditorium, 1918, also First National Bank, 1918, which is opposite the Mystic Theater.
3,558.5 11:04 Back on the road, but turning down to a picnic area ... the picnic area is not by the river as I thought it might have been, so I’m just going straight back to the highway, US-12. It is sad to see a once thriving community in such a low state.
3,559.3 11:06 Back on US-12 and heading back to Baker, 18 miles ... worth doing that instead of taking the terrible corrugated, winding, rough road. It would probably be a very interesting drive if I had a 4-W vehicle, but I don’t think it would be fair on our car to take it on such a road unnecessarily!
3,565.4 11:13 Re-entering Montana, and immediately here is the first white cross - speed limits in daytime “Reasonable and Prudent”, Trucks 60 mph and Night - all vehicles 55 mph.
3,572.9 White cross ... and a sign “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”.
3,573.1 Two crosses.
3,575.6 One cross ... and “Welcome to Baker, 87 years old”.
3,576.3 11:23 Cross ... also entering Baker ... by far a more prosperous town than the last one I was in!
3,577.6 11:25 Center of town, a four-way Stop sign and I am turning north on MT-7 ... there seems to be a sidewalk sale in town today.
3,578.3 11:27 Glendive is 74 miles (on I-94 and Yellowstone River) ... it is going to be at least 12:30 by the time I reach the interstate, then another hour or so before I get to Medora.
The road is going straight from Baker passing through a fairly productive oilfield ... cattle grazing in among the oil pumps ... also storgae tanks for the oil ... also baled hay ... the road is going up hill and down dale.
3,583.8 Cross ... the hills seem to be mostly grass covered ... not too bad as far as rocks are concerned and there is still a lot of green on the hillsides for this time of year.
3,586.4 11:34-11:36 Historic sign - “The Gumbo Buttes” ... 2 pictures, one of the sign and one of grassy ruts.
3,587.3 Gumbo Buttes.
3,587.4 11:38-11:40 Two pictures of Gumbo Buttes.
3,588.1 Cross ... and the road stretches ahead for miles and miles ... more or less straight ahead, hardly a bend, up and down over the rolling hills or maybe I should say the rolling plains ... one really knows one is in “Big Sky Country”.
3,596.8 11:48-11:52 Cross ... three pictures, all of machinery and cross.
3,599.1 Rattlesnake Creek with a lot of trees along it ... looks really pretty winding around.
3,605.1 Besides all the baled hay, I am now seeing a lot of crops which have been planted ... Wibaux now only 15 miles ... extensive area of crops ... cattle.
3,614.7 Cross, covered in flowers.
I think this is a beautiful drive ... curves in the road ... up and down ... all different kinds of farming ... some badland cliffs that come down to flat fields with crops in them or which have been tilled ... altogether a very lovely sight ... all the different colors of greens, browns and yellows ... magnificent clumps of trees.
3,620.4 12:12 Entering Wibaux ... there is a motel here, too.
3,620.9 Crossing Beaver Creek ... quite a lot of water in it ... I crossed it just prior to the entrance to the town ... old brick buildings, but it doesn’t say anything on them to indicate when they were built.
3,621.4 12:14 Turning onto a road to go east to I-94 ... just after turning the corner I crossed Beaver Creek again.
3,621.6 12:15 Turning into Rest Area and Information Center.
3,621.8 12:15-12:27 Stopped at Visitor Center ... picked up some literature on Montana, but also was able to get something about Medora where I plan to spend the rest of the day.
3,622.3 12:28 Entered I-94, Beach, ND, 8 miles, Bismarck 166 miles.
3,629.6 12:35 MT/ND State Line ... speed limit 70 mph - no longer “Reasonable and Prudent!”.
3,631.2 12:36 Leaving highway, Beach, Exit-1 ... tourist information ... Temp. 89°.
3,631.6 12:37-12:42 Welcome Center.
3,632.0 12:43 Back on I-94 ... Medora 25 miles.
Sign at side of road - “Home On The Range” 4 miles.
Very extensive field of corn to the north of the road.
Maybe “Home On The Range” is the name of a ranch and this is the only way to get to it, i.e. Exit-off I-94 ... no services ... I guess that’s it.
Probably a big family ranch, because, looking backwards now, I can see several houses and lots of farm buildings and on a hill, marked out in white stones is HOME ON THE RANGE.
The next Exit-is for Sentinel Butte and Camel Hump Lake. Sentinel Butte is 2 miles to the south and Camel Hump Lake is to the north ... you can see the water from the road.
321.2 Passing a large cross on a cone-shaped hill to the south.
3,641.9 Passing a Rest Area, but am not going to stop as the badlands are just starting and if I’m going to going into the Badlands, I don’t need pictures at this point.
The color in the ND Badlands is probably better than the color in the Badlands in South Dakota, but I don’t think they are as rugged ... certainly from what i have seen of them they are not ... on the other hand traveling east on the interstate the scenery is quite striking.
The next exit, Exit-18, is for Buffalo Gap.
The erosion is showing a lot of yellowish to white contrasting with gray to black rather different from the usual oranges and reds and yellows.
3,648.7 Over a rise and the badlands are spread out before me.
3,651.1 1:00 Leaving highway for a scenic view ... no pictures here.
3,651.3 1:03 Back on I-94 ... next exit, Exit-24, Historic Medora, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora Visitor Center and Park Entrance.
3,653.3 1:04 Leaving the highway for Medora ... one of those Burlington Northern trains with all the closed cars like I saw before.
Little Missouri Scenic River where I’m just crossing a bridge now, i.e. the bridge on the interstate right opposite where I was turning onto this, i.e. just as I left the freeway.
3,655.0 Entering Medora and crossing the Little Missouri Scenic River.
3,656.1 1:13 I forgot to say the time I arrived in Medora and the distance! ... it is now ...... and I have been driving around a bit just looking for things ... drove out to the Medora Motel, and, having had a look at it, I am going back to the other one, i.e. The Badlands Motel, a little more expensive but I think that I would rather stay there.
3,656.8 1:16 Badlands Motel.
3,656.9 At the motel outside my room ... There were no non-smoking rooms left, but I was able to get a smoking room which did not have a strong smell of smoke, so I was really lucky. The cars are lined up now with people trying to get accommodation, so thank goodness I got here at a reasonable hour.
All unloaded ... I have already spoken to a camera club friend, Lee up at the stables and have also bought my tickets for tonight’s dinner, The Pitchfork Fondue, and for the Medora Musical and now I am ready to go exploring
3,657.0 Leaving Badlands Motel.
Spent $4.69 on a lovely salad for lunch with a tomato vinaigrette dressing.
Coal train passing through Medora ... two pictures: Custer Trail and Medora Railway Station. It is $5.00 to tour The Chateau de Mores, historic summer residence of the Marquis de Mores ... walked around the de Mores ruins of meat packing plant ... drove up the hill to see where Fondue and Musical are held ... then to National Park.
Theodore Roosevelt was President from 1901-1908, Jefferson from 1801-1809, both in Mount Rushmore carving in Black Hills.
Some yellow cone flowers blooming.
3,675.0 4:45 Turned around ... changed the film after Scoria Point and stated the next one with buffalo.
3,690.0 5:23 Back at the motel in time to meet Lee at 5:30 for ½ hour visit.
6:12 Leaving to go to The Fondue ... there are a lot of cars here already!
3,691.0 6:18 Fondue and Musical.
3,693.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 245 miles
Return Trip Total - 1,377 mile
Trip Total - 3,693 miles

Day 16 - Tuesday, July 28 - Medora, ND to Lincoln, NE

After getting up this morning I walked around Medora and went to the Rough Rider Hotel for breakfast ($10.00 incl. Tip) and took pictures of the Medora Doll House on the way back to the motel I packed the car and was ready to get on the way.
3,693.0 8:40 Leave Badlands Motel.
3,693.3 8:42-8:50 GAS - Medora, ND - $1.209/gal. - 10.4 gals. - $12.61
- $12.18 cash. (discount for cash)
3,693.9 On East River Road South ... becoming a dirt road ... plan to look for Maltese Cross Ranch and some exploring before leaving the area.
Entering Little Missouri Grasslands - intermingled publicly and privately owned ... washboard road but not as bad as the one I started up from Marmarth (US-12) towards Golva, west side of the river.
I am driving through National Grasslands ... quite a lot of badland-type erosion throughout the area ... also have come across working oil pumps and with all the cattle grids I have crossed I know there must be cattle at large.
I went out to Site # 1 of the Motor Tour ... saw nothing ... am now returning and will go back to the fork in the road, it being East River Road and the other to Fryburg ... hence I will be doing part of the motor tour in reverse.
3,707.0 9:35 Back at the fork in the road and turning to go to Fryburg (12 miles).
9:40-9:47 Site # 10 - one picture of nest (golden eagle) in the cliff.
This is a beautiful drive and the road is not nearly as bad as I thought it might be, so I am really glad that I have come this way.
3,713.1 Road turning off to I-94 3 miles and from here I can actually see cars traveling on the interstate.
3,713.9 Turned around for the moment because I think Site # 9 - Prairie Dog Town must be up the road to I-94 ... can’t find Site # 9 so I will return to the trail, i.e. the road to Fryburg and try to find Site # 8.
Even though I can’t seem to find the various sites it is enjoyable driving on these back roads.
3,717.3 10:09 Leaving after butterfly pictures.
3,720.1 A crop of corn ... great drive, but not well marked.
3,724.0 10:17-10:18 One picture looking back.
3,721.4 Leaving the badland-type country ... still some oil pumps ... acres and acres of rolled hay and beyond that farming, also more corn, so the land is much more productive as you get away from the badlands.
3,728.1 10:30 Turning onto a paved road, I suspect US-85, known as the CANAM Hwy, and the road I want to travel south on ... 1 hour and 40 minutes since getting gas in Medora and have traveled 34.8 miles, but am only 16-17 miles from Medora!
The land is like rolling prairie now - would have been grasslands before being inhabited by pioneers - now made up of crops, hay - quite fertile looking.
3,739.4 Bowman 46 miles ... Yes! This is US-85 ... an almost straight road traveling due south ... rich crop lands.
3,744.5 Oil pump.
Highest point in North Dakota - White Butte, El. 3,506 feet.
3,759.2 10:59-11:01 Stopped - two pictures.
3,759.4 11:01 Entering Amidon.
3,761.1 11:03-11:04 Stopped for another picture of White Butte.
US-85 turns south again shortly after the last picture and is actually getting quite close to White Butte as it winds over the “range” ... although grass covered there are exposed areas of badlands.
3,765.4 Road is more or less at its peak here.
3,766.2 Passing the radio tower on top of White Butte (on my left now).
3,768.2 129 miles to Belle Fourche - rolling farm country with scattered buttes rising above the horizon here and there.
Am passing ranches now - Brooks Angus Ranch (lots of black cattle) and since then Steuber Ranch.
3,782.1 11:22 Entering Bowman.
3,783.2 11:24 Junction of US-85 and US-12.
3,783.8 US-85 leaves US-12 which continues west to where I was at Marmarth and on into Montana, and on and on.
11:25 Buffalo now 45 miles and Belle Fourche 115 miles.
3,793.1 Over a rise and the countryside in the distance is rather hilly, maybe the start of the Black Hills!
3,800.0 11:43 The North Dakota/South Dakota State Line ... Lead 128 miles ... and I was just about to say I must be getting close to the border and that the land was starting to become more hilly which is exactly what is happening at the moment.
3,807.6 Ludlow ... 1..2..3...5 buildings - maybe a few more buildings, but only 5 houses.
Buffalo is the next town - 21 miles ... just as well I wasn’t expecting to get a coffee or snack in Ludlow, which I would have missed had I blinked!
Interesting hills out to the west, flat on top and some with little “chimneys” sticking up on them!
3,820.3 Oil pump ... the hills are called the South Cave Hills.
3,826.5 Over a rise and looking down onto another broad plain ... at the base of this hill there are a lot of trees, probably the town of Buffalo.
3,827.2 12:05 Entering Buffalo.
There are badland type buttes scattered throughout the hills here.
3,843.3 Crossing the North Moreau River - not much water in it.
3,849.0 Redig.
3,851.7 12:28-12:30 Stopped for sign about The Crow Buttes ... 2 pictures, one of sign and one of buttes.
These buttes were visible for miles before reaching them because the road just goes on and on over the rolling country and the buttes are on top of a hill.
3,855.6 12:34-12:37 Stopped - two pictures looking back towards Crow Buttes from the top of the next rise ... and again the road stretches on in front of me for miles like a ribbon across the landscape.
3,859.1 South Moreau River.
Again! This is a lovely drive with very interesting landscape, various buttes giving height to it and the badland areas add character as well ... also there are small ponds along the way, some with reeds in them and some with just clear water.
3,866.4 12:47 Belle Fourche 31 miles, Lead 61 miles.
3,869.9 Sheep grazing on the grassy hills.
In the haze on the horizon I can just make out the faint line of the Black Hills.
3,877.7 I have just realized that the hills have quite a bit of sagebrush on them so now I should be looking out for antelope ... lots of cattle.
3,891.7 Over a hill and straight ahead is Belle Fourche and several layers of the Black Hills - still in haze but can see them a little more clearly.
3,895.9 1:11 Entering Belle Fourche.
3,896.9 Crossing the Belle Fourche River.
3,899.0 Lead now 28 miles ... 9 miles to the junction with I-90.
3,902.9 Crossing Redwater River.
US-85 joins I-90 for a short distance.
3,908.1 1:25 Joining I-90 ... I’m going to leave the interstate again at Exit-12 to get something to eat.
3,909.4 1:27 Leaving the interstate.
3,909.7 Entering Spearfish - this is not where I meant to get off - I thought that I was leaving the highway where the K-Mart is! I’ve decided to turn and go through Spearfish’s main street which I think will finish up at K-Mart ... this road through town is still the CANAM Hwy, same as if I was still on US-85.
3,912.7 1:34-2:13 Stopped by the K-Mart ... $4.99 + tax for KFC seniors buffet.
Returning to I-90.
3,913.2 2:15 Back on the interstate ... US-85 leaves in 3 miles.
3,916.4 2:18 Leaving the interstate on US-85 at Exit-17 ... a neat way of giving the speed limit - sign said: “Just a reminder, the speed limit is 65“.
3,922.8 2:25 Entering Deadwood, pop. 1,830.
3,925.2 2:31 Stopped at Norwest Bank (Wells Fargo).
3,925.9 2:45-4:12 Parked in free parking lot and walked through Deadwood to try my luck!
Upon leaving here I planned to take US-14 to Sturgis and join I-90 there, but a sign suggests taking US-85 because US-14 is gravel at present, rough and unpaved for repairs.
I guess I’ll take US-85 as suggested - it may be a bit further but at least it is a good road.
3,934.1 4:22 Back at I-90.
3,945.3 4:32 Deadwood is 10 miles from here (Sturgis).
3,965.2 Rapid City next 7 exits ... Murdo about 140 miles.
3,981.2 5:02 Leaving the interstate to get some coffee at McDonald’s ($4.10) for a full meal and an extra coffee.
3,982.4 5:26 Back on I-90.
Wall is coming up shortly and I think I’ll stop there for gas so I wont have to worry about gas between here and Valentine if that’s the way I decide to go.
4,026.1 6:02 Exit-110 - leaving I-90.
4,026.0 6:03-6:09 GAS - Wall, SD - $1.169/gal. - 15.822 gals. - $18.50
4,026.4 6:10 Rejoining I-90.
I’m trying to recall if and when I last drove along this stretch of I-90 and I can’t remember. Usually we (I) go through the Badlands National Park, either from the east and coming out at Wall or going in at Wall and coming out further east past the Brown Homestead Historic Site.
From along this road you can see quite a lot of the Badlands on the horizon to the south, especially some of the higher elevations of it.
4,034.9 An antelope ... I’ve been looking for antelope all day, but this is the first one I have seen.
4,045.8 6:26 Passing Exit-131, where we leave the highway when traveling from the east.
4,103.9 7:12 Entering Central Time Zone, so now the time is 8:12.
4,106.1 8:14 I’m leaving the interstate at Exit-192 in Murdo for US-83 south to Valentine.
4,106.4 8:14

On US-83, Rosebud 54 miles, and Valentine, about 9 miles beyond that, about 63 miles.
Everything is so green it looks just wonderful ... road is twisting and turning as it drops down into a valley, I think the White River.
4,113.6 Dropping down ... it was a creek crossing, a single-lane bridge, and now the road is going up and down into another valley and again it is one lane across the bridge ... road construction ... lot more trees so maybe this is the White River this time.
4,118.3 8:25 Am at a Stop sign as men are actually working on the bridge at the moment and this is the White River ... quite a big river, moving fairly swiftly and very muddy looking,
4,126.4 Another single-lane bridge coming up ... beautiful country through here - better than I remember ... I just don’t remember all these hills and how pretty it is ... this is the first time I have driven in this direction on this road.
4,126.9 8:34 Crossing Little White River.
4,128.6 8:36 Entering White River.
4,129.6 8:37 Rosebud now 30 miles.
The sun isn’t down yet, but it is so cloudy the sky is darker than it should be at this time.
The sun is now below the cloud cover and above the horizon ... it wont be long before it sets, but in the meantime there are very long shadows on the ground.
4,147.8 8:52 Junction with US-18, a T junction and US-83 runs with it as far as Mission, then will turn south again.
4,149.8 8:54 Entering Mission, pop. 730.
4,150.7 8:56 US-83 leaves US-18 and turns south to Valentine.
4,151.3 Valentine 32 miles.
4,172.4 9:14 South Dakota/Nebraska State Line.
4,181.0 9:22 Entering Valentine, pop. 2,826.
4,182.1 9:27-9:33 Stopped in Valentine by a telephone - had to wait, seemed for ages, for someone to finish a call! LP was quite excited about me coming home ... I have no idea how long it will take me, but we’ll see.
Heading out of Valentine I am on US-20 east and US-83 south and at some time will branch out after crossing the Niobrara River ... North Platte is 125 miles.
4,187.1 9:39 US-83 turning south ... so that will make it about 4,309 in North Platte.
9:56 Some lightning in the sky ahead ... I was just wrapped up in my thoughts that the cats’ eyes along the road are very helpful to where the road is going, and when they are not there I am just gliding along at an even pace out in the middle of nowhere with just the sandhills and the open sky when suddenly there was this flash of lightning, and the lightning is continuing to occur.
10:13 Crossing North Loup River.
Interesting - I am driving under a starry sky and the moon is reflected in a lake out to the west of me and at the same time am watching the lightning straight ahead!
10:20 The lightning is still flashing in the sky to the south, but I’m still driving under a clear star-studded sky ... quite weird - lightning illuminating clouds in one patch, otherwise there are stars all the way around.
4,244.2 10:31 Junction with NE-2 ... North Platte is 66 miles ... now I am on US-83 south and NE-2 west ... I think that I will just pull in by the Rodeway Inn in Thedford so I can close the back windows before I turn south again!
4,244.9 10:33-10:35 Stopped Rodeway Inn ... I closed the back windows, have taken a couple of aspirin and got some water, so now should be good until I get to North Platte!
4,245.4 10:36 Leaving NE-2 and turning south on US-83 ... North Platte 65 miles.
Immediately crossing the Middle Loup River.
I still have lightning flashing in front of me even though, looking out the from window, I can see stars as well! ... so the stars are above the storm taking place wherever!
The time spent in Thedford closing the windows was not wasted time because a very long freight train came through and I would have been kept waiting at the level crossing until it had gone if I hadn’t stopped!
4,257.4 10:38 Sign for Scenic Overlook in 2 miles. The road is going through quite a hilly area ... I think I decided there were sandhills to the north when I passed through North Platte on my way out to Vancouver. However, the Scenic Overlook wont show me anything tonight!
One thing for sure, the road is certainly going through a hilly area.
4,258.5 10:50 Crossing the Dismal River.
10:54 Maybe the lightning which has been going all this time has finally given up.
11:05 No! Another big flash.
11:09 South Loup River ... North Platte now 29 miles.
4,280.6 11:10 Stapleton ... the road passes to the east of town ... more lightning even though there is still quite a starry sky.
4,284.3 NE-92 to Broken Bow ... US-83 straight ahead ... North Platte 25 miles.
11:18 The lightning is getting quite serious now ... still intermittent, but rather than flash is now streak lightning.
I hope it stays south of I-80 because I really don’t want to be running into it ... it is spectacular at a distance.
The lightning is affecting the sound waves because each time there is a flash I can hear a sizzle coming through the radio,
There are still stars above and behind me, but not so many in front of me any more.
4,296.6 11:26 The road is wet and I’m running into some rain now ... it was just a small patch of wet road and a few drops of rain, but still lightning ahead!
11:28 Wet road again ... huge streak of lightning.
11:30 Driving into heavy rain now.
11:33 I can see the lights of North Platte ... I have had to slow down somewhat because of heavy rain.
11:35 The rain is coming down in sheets and blankets ... North Platte is 4 miles ahead. ... the stars have disappeared.
On the outskirts of North Platte and the rain has suddenly stopped.
4,307.4 11:39 Crossing the North Platte River and over the river, entering North Platte, pop. 52,605.
4,310.0 11:46-11:58 Stopped at McDonald’s - not open ... 2 coffees, 1 Mountain Dew and 1 bag chips ($3.62) at a Quick Stop.
12:00 am Crossing the South Platte River ... pretty hot and sticky ... haven’t experienced such humidity in a while.
4,311.2 12:01 Entering I-80.
The next Exit-is # 179, which means just over 200 miles to Exit-397 or 3 hours to Lincoln ... trucks have to stop because a weigh station is open!
12:04 Kearney 94 miles.
Long line of trucks at the weigh station ... I’m keeping company with trucks tonight!
12:08 It is just 2,000 miles since I left Anna’s.
12:16 The stars are out again.
12:40 Have just passed a Rest Area ... I don’t think I could have got into it even if I had wanted to, it is so jammed up with trucks.
4,443.4 1:48 Leaving the highway at Grand Island to get gas.
4,445.0 1:52-2:00 GAS - Grand Island, NE - Bosselman’s - $1.199/gal. - 18.574 gals. - $22.27
Leaving for the last leg.
What a mess around Grand Island with road construction!
4,446.3 2:03 Back on I-80.
127.0 Lincoln 87 miles.
4,529.5 3:11 Exit-397 - Leaving I-80 for US-77 south.
4,537.0 3:23 am HOME - End of day (and almost night!) - 81 miles further than the route going out! I could have been home by midnight if I had not spent time exploring south of Medora, nor gone into Deadwood. Also the time change added another hour. The actual traveling time Medora to Lincoln could be approximately 14 hours.

The day’s total - 844 miles
Return Trip Total - 2,221 mile
Going out Trip Total - 2,140 mile
Trip Total - 4,537 miles